Lawyer Defending Clients Against Endangering the Welfare of a Child Charges in Nassau County
Did you leave your child alone at home or alone in the car while you ran into a store? Or have you left alcohol, drugs, or a dangerous weapon within the reach of a child? You might otherwise be a good parent, but these actions could lead to a charge of endangering the welfare of a child.
If you are charged with endangering the welfare of a child on Long Island or anywhere in or near New York City, you must be advised and represented by a Nassau County Endangering the Welfare of a Child at the Law Firm of Gianni Karmily.
What constitutes endangering the welfare of a child? What defenses can you and your attorney offer? What penalties may be imposed if you are convicted of endangering the welfare of a child? Keep reading for the answers to these questions – and for the legal help you may need.
How Does New York Define Endangering the Welfare of a Child?
The law in New York spells out two situations that constitute endangering the welfare of a child:
- You endanger a child’s welfare by knowingly acting in a way that is likely to cause an injury to the mental state, physical well-being, or moral welfare of a child less than 17 years of age.
- You endanger a child’s welfare if you’re a parent, guardian, or have custody of a child less than 18 years of age and you fail to exercise reasonable diligence to prevent the child from becoming an “abused” or “neglected” child or a “person in need of supervision.”
What Does the Court Consider in These Cases?
Unlike a specific robbery or gun possession charge, endangering the welfare of a child – in some cases – may be more subjective and open to interpretation. Let’s say that you are charged with briefly leaving a child alone at home or alone in your vehicle. The court will consider:
- the child’s age and level of maturity
- the length of time the child was left alone
- the reason why the child was left alone
- whether the defendant has any previous history of child endangerment
What Is the Penalty for Endangering the Welfare of a Child?
In most cases, endangering the welfare of a child is a Class A misdemeanor in the State of New York. Anyone who is convicted could serve up to a year in jail or up to three years on probation.
However, many of these charges are based on misunderstandings, and sometimes a child endangerment claim is entirely untrue. During a divorce proceeding, for example, one parent might fabricate a child endangerment claim to gain an advantage over the other parent.
Whether you are innocent or you simply made a poor judgment regarding your child’s welfare (or someone else’s child you were supervising), if you are charged with endangering the welfare of a child, immediately contact a Nassau County child endangerment attorney at the Law Firm of Gianni Karmily.
What Will Your Attorney Do on Your Behalf?
A Long Island child endangerment attorney may offer one of these defenses to a child endangerment charge:
- The law provides that you cannot be convicted of child endangerment when the sole and only evidence against you is the testimony of a child with a mental incapacity or defect.
- In a child endangerment case based on an alleged failure to provide medical care to a child, the law provides for a defense if the defendant is a member of an organized religious group with tenets that offer prayer as the principal treatment of illness and treated or caused such ill child to be treated in accordance with such tenets.
- If you’ve been falsely accused and the charge against you is fabricated, a Nassau County child endangerment lawyer at the Law Firm of Gianni Karmily will make every effort to get to the truth about what really happened.
What About Child Endangerment and Intoxicated Driving?
While endangering the welfare of a child is a misdemeanor in New York in most instances, it is an automatic felony on the first offense to drive while intoxicated with a person age 15 or below in the vehicle if you are driving while intoxicated or ability impaired by drugs.
Anyone operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and transporting a child may be charged with a Class E felony punishable upon conviction with up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
If a driver is intoxicated or drugged and a child in the car suffers serious injuries, the charge is a Class D felony punishable by up to seven years in prison. If a driver is intoxicated or drugged and a child in the car was killed, the charge is a Class C felony punishable by up to fifteen years in prison.
If You Are Charged With Endangering the Welfare of a Child
Don’t even think about trying to act as your own attorney. The State of New York aggressively prosecutes crimes that involve children, so you must be represented by an experienced, reliable New York defense attorney who will passionately and effectively defend your rights.
To ensure that your endangering the welfare of a child case is brought to its best possible outcome, take your case to the Law Firm of Gianni Karmily. Schedule a no-cost, no-obligation legal consultation by calling our offices at 516-630-3405 or by completing the contact form on this website.