Reckless Endangerment of a Child
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What Is Endangerment?
Endangerment encompasses multiple different types of actions, all of which are reckless or intentional, that are likely to cause death or serious bodily injury. Some states codify endangerment as a crime while other states use the term "culpable negligence" for the same conduct.
Endangerment can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the exact nature of the offense and the state criminal code.
Endangerment comes in three main forms:
- Public endangerment occurs when an individual acts recklessly or intentionally in a manner that is likely to injure the public or damage public property. One such example is water contamination.
- Reckless endangerment occurs when an individual commits an act recklessly that creates a significant risk of harm, either death or serious bodily injury, to a specific person or persons. One such example is texting while speeding through a construction zone and ignoring posted signs.
- Reckless endangerment of a child occurs when an adult’s intentional act or indifference endangers the child’s health or safety.
An individual acts recklessly when he does not exercise caution and does not care about the consequences of his actions. The individual does not need to intend to harm anyone. The individual only needs to have acted with no regard or care for any foreseeable injuries that would result from his actions.
Examples of Reckless Endangerment of a Child
The most common type of child endangerment is child abuse. While most states have reckless endangerment criminal offenses, child endangerment is usually categorized separately with the child abuse statutes.
Child abuse can involve intentional battery or assault of a child, such as physically beating the child. Child abuse can also include failing to feed, clothe, or provide proper shelter for the child.
Child endangerment can also involve negligence. When an adult does not intend to harm the child but is careless in supervising the child, the adult may also be guilty of child endangerment.
Common examples of child endangerment include:
- Leaving a child in a hot car
- Committing a crime when a child is with you, such as armed robbery or assault
- Buying alcohol for minors
- Driving while drunk with a child in the car
- Leaving a young child home alone with no babysitter
- Abusing a child or failing to report child abuse
Do I Need a Lawyer to Defend Against Child Endangerment Charges?
If you have been charged with the crime of child endangerment, you need the expertise and assistance of a trained and experienced criminal defense attorney. Do not speak to any officers or prosecutors. Call a criminal defense attorney immediately to discuss your case and explore your options and defenses.
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Last Modified: 09-26-2016 04:56 PM PDT
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