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New York laws require all parents, legal guardians, and anyone who is in charge of a child is able to properly care for children at every moment. The law does not allow for anything less than full and proper care of children. New York Penal Code 260.10 states endangering the welfare of a child is a crime punishable by the full extent of the law, and anyone found guilty of endangering the welfare of a child will face prison time, fines, and potential probation.
What is endangering the welfare of a child? It’s a vast definition according to New York law, but it essentially means a person knowingly and intentionally places a child in danger in a given situation. For example, a parent who engages in a drug deal with their dealer with a child present is endangering the welfare of a child by placing him or her in a situation where things could go wrong and the child could be hurt.
As with any laws and penal codes in Long Island and other areas of New York, there are always provisions to any law. A parent who leaves his or her child with a trusted babysitter while going to work or even on a date night who does not know the babysitter plans on taking the child to a drug deal is not guilty of child endangerment. The parent provided the necessary care and intent to keep his or her child safe and in good care without any knowledge their trusted sitter was going behind their back to engage in illegal activities with their baby present.
In a situation such as this one, the babysitter is the person accused of endangering the welfare of a child. The parent is innocent due to his or her lack of knowledge. Long Island law is strict regarding the endangerment of the welfare of kids, and that’s why a criminal attorney is someone you should call if you are arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Experienced attorneys can help you handle your case.
Class A Misdemeanor and Punishments
New York law defines endangering the welfare of a child as a class A misdemeanor. It’s not a felony act, which is a hopeful sign for anyone arrested of this crime. Misdemeanors are issued much less serious penalties, which means less time in jail and lesser fines if you are found guilty when your time in court arrives. However, this type of case can be turned into one that’s both civil and criminal. This means more serious punishments are issued.
The potential punishment for endangering the welfare of a child might include up to one year in prison, fines, probation, community service, and the loss of custody of your child if you are a parent accused of endangering a child.
Defending Your Case
An experienced attorney knows that not everyone sets out to endanger the welfare of their children, and they know sometimes things happen to put you in a situation you didn’t predict. To help you stay out of jail and avoid conviction, an attorney is prepared to handle your defense in a way that helps you explain your side of the story.
False Accusations – It’s not uncommon for one parent to make a false statement about another when there is a nasty divorce or custody battle at hand. This is when an attorney works to discredit the story of someone making false accusations.
Lack of Intent – Accidents happen, and it means sometimes you end up in trouble for something you didn’t see coming. For example, someone charged with endangering the welfare of a child because the child was involved in a drive-by shooting in a bad neighborhood might have simply took a wrong turn while reading directions. The act was not intentional, and the child was not placed in danger on purpose.
Lack of Evidence – If there’s not enough evidence to prove beyond the reasonable shadow of a doubt you did anything wrong, you will find an attorney will discredit the prosecution and make it impossible for anyone to convict you without proper evidence in their hand.
Hiring an attorney is one way to help with your case when you’re accused of endangering the welfare of a child. You are entitled to your defense, and an attorney with knowledge and experience with Long Island laws and penal codes is your chance to find the correct defense. You’re entitled to share your side of the story, to prove you didn’t do this, and to be found innocent of all charges when the evidence isn’t substantial enough to find your guilty. Let an attorney help you find a way to prove you did not intentionally put the life of a child in danger.