Stamford Child Endangerment Penalties
In Stamford, child endangerment penalties are never something to be taken lightly. If you have been accused of allegedly putting your child in harm’s way or are under investigation for this kind of conduct, seeking support from qualified legal counsel should be your top priority.
Criminal Sanctions from Risk of Injury Charges
Child endangerment—or “risk of injury to a child,” as it is referred to in the Connecticut Penal Code—is classified as a felony offense in virtually every situation. On top of that, even if you are not convicted in court of a criminal violation, the Department of Children and Families (“DCF”) might take action against you. Based on the results of their own investigation, that action could extend all the way to depriving you of custody or visitation rights.
“Child endangerment” is not a distinctly defined criminal offense in the state of Connecticut, so these offenses are prosecuted under Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §53-21 as “risk of injury to” and/or “impairing morals of” children. In certain situations, charges may instead be pursued under C.G.S. §53-21a, which specifically addresses the acts of leaving a child unsupervised in a vehicle or place of public accommodation and knowingly failing to report a child’s disappearance to law enforcement.
With the two exceptions of failing to report a disappearance and leaving a child unsupervised during the day in a place without a permit to sell alcohol, both of which are categorized as class A misdemeanors, all “child endangerment” offenses in Connecticut are considered felonies. This means that in addition to possible sentences upon conviction which may include multiple years in state prison as well as up to tens of thousands of dollars in fines, felony child endangerment penalties in Stamford may also include the loss of numerous civil rights such as the right to hold public office, vote in elections, and purchase and lawfully possess firearms.
What Could Happen After a DCF Investigation?
Any time someone is accused of child endangerment in Connecticut, DCF will open an investigation into them to determine whether there is evidence to substantiate those allegations of mistreatment. These investigations proceed entirely separately from any related criminal cases, and the outcome of one proceeding has no bearing on the other. A Stamford resident could be acquitted of child endangerment in criminal court but still face penalties from DCF, and vice versa.
If a DCF investigation substantiates a suspicion of child abuse or mistreatment, the DCF Commissioner may recommend various actions, ranging from the imposition of a long-term Safety Plan or Service Agreement to placement on the state Central Child Abuse Registry to limitations placed on custody or visitation rights. In extreme situations, DCF may even pursue the permanent removal of a child from their parent or parents’ custody based on a child endangerment charge.
Our Stamford Attorneys Could Explain Child Endangerment Penalties
There are various outcomes a child endangerment case in Connecticut could have, many of which could have a resounding negative impact on you and your family for years. Understanding Stamford child endangerment penalties is one of many matters a capable lawyer at Mark Sherman Law could help with during an investigation or after your arrest. Click here to read our over 300 reviews on Avvo.com, and call today to learn more and schedule your confidential consultation.