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Endangering The Welfare Of A Child

The individual who is responsible for caring for a child has certain requirements to keep that child safe and free from any unreasonable dangerous situations. If the individual fails to keep the child safe, they may be subject to criminal penalties. Depending on the situation, even things occurring around the child may endanger the child. When determining if something endangers a child, the prosecution will also look to see if a child suffered damage either mentally or morally, not just physically.

Under New York Law, an individual may be convicted of engendering the welfare of a child if:

  • They knowingly act in a way that is likely to harm the physical, mental, or moral welfare of a child that is less than seventeen years old, or
  • They give permission or authorize a child less than seventeen to engage in an activity that carries a substantial risk to the child’s life or health, or
  • They are the parent or guardian or somehow responsible for the care of a child less than eighteen years old, and they fail to prevent the child from being abused or neglected.

New York Endangering The Welfare Of A Child Attorney

If you or someone you know has been arrested for endangering the welfare of a child, contact Law Office of Stephanie Selloni. The legal team at Law Office of Stephanie Selloni has defended countless New York residents and visitors over the years who were worried about losing not only their freedom, but their reputation in the community. Nassau County criminal defense attorney Stephanie Selloni at Law Office of Stephanie Selloni can help you find the best possible strategy to fight the charges and clear your name.

To schedule your first consultation, call (516) 972-1212 today. The Law Office of Stephanie Selloni represents clients from Garden City, Floral Park, Glen Oaks, or anywhere else in Nassau County or Suffolk County.

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Information Center

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Examples Of Child Endangerment

The New York statute is written very broadly to allow for the prosecutor to use this charge against individuals who may not be able to be charged under other laws. Because of this very broad language, there are multiple examples of what may constitute a charge under this crime.

Typically we will see situations that involve abuse and neglect, but this can be easily extended to people who have driven while intoxicated with a child in the car, had a child present during a transaction for illegal substances, or used a child in another crime or using them as a cover-up. In addition, if the individual is encouraging criminal behavior in children, they can also be charged with this crime.

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Penalties For Child Endangerment

Endangering the welfare of a child is a Class A misdemeanor in New York. The maximum possible sentence for a Class A misdemeanor is one year in jail or up to three years on probation.

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Other Consequences For Child Endangerment

In addition to the legal penalties, there are many times, other consequences that can be lifelong. A conviction for a crime against a child will result in a criminal record. There is a stigma that comes with a criminal record that has crimes against a child on it. This criminal record can affect employment opportunities, loan approvals, rental checks, and future child custody battles. None of these effects even take into account the effects that a conviction can have on someone’s personal and professional life and relationships.

With all of the legal and non-legal consequences that an individual may suffer when accused of a misdemeanor, it is extremely important to seek competent legal counsel to help reduce or remove the charges from their record immediately.

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Defenses In A Child Endangerment Case

One of the more common reasons for endangering the welfare of a child is charged due to the failure to provide medical treatment for the child. A defense for when this situation occurs is if the individual did not seek medical treatment for the child due to their religious beliefs. If seeking medical treatment was against the individual’s religious beliefs, they may have a valid defense to the charge of endangering a child.

If the child in question suffers from a mental defect or incapacity, and the individual who is being charged with endangering a child is being accused of sexual assault, there must be corroborating evidence by a party other than the child for the case to be continued to be prosecuted. The prosecution must present this evidence if they want their charge to succeed.

As a more general defense, the prosecutor must prove the defendant knowingly acted in a way that would likely cause harm to the child. If the individual accused did not know and could not have known that the actions would likely cause harm to the child, then the prosecutor may not be able to prove the claim, and the charges may be dropped.

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Statute Of Limitations For Child Endangerment

The statute of limitations covers the range of time that the alleged victim and prosecutor have to file charges. The clock starts once the victim discovers the individual’s crime. Once the statute of limitations expires, an individual no longer has to worry about this offense coming back to haunt them if they did commit it. Yet, it’s uncommon for victims to let the statute of limitations run out before they press charges. For this offense, the state has two years to start the prosecution of the accused individual.

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Crimes Related To Child Endangerment

In New York, there are multiple types of crimes similar to engendering a child’s welfare. Depending on the specific situation, an individual may find themselves charged with the crimes of abandonment of a child, endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person or competency or physically disabled person in the second degree, or endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person in the second degree.

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Additional Resources

Child Protective Services – The New York State Office of Children and Family Services can assist victims of child endangerment and provide resources for parents and guardians to prevent the charge of child endangerment.

New York Penal Law– The New York State website provides this description of the legal definitions and elements of endangering the welfare of a child.

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Garden City Endangering the Welfare of a Child Lawyer | Nassau County, NY

If you have been accused of endangering the welfare of a child, it’s important to contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Nassau County, NY. Child abuse charges can pose a great threat to everything that is important to you. In addition to affecting your family, these accusations could result in a conviction including imprisonment and significant fines. To receive aggressive legal counsel, contact Law Office of Stephanie Selloni.

Defense lawyer Stephanie Selloni at Law Office of Stephanie Selloni has the experience and knowledge needed to fight your accusations. To schedule your first consultation, call (516) 972-1212 now.

The Law Office of Stephanie Selloni represents Long Island clients in Garden City, Riverstead, Mineola, and other communities across Nassau and Suffolk County.

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