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Endangering the Welfare of a Child

Endangering the welfare of a child is a serious charge, being a class A misdemeanor which can result in a year in jail, extensive probation or monetary fines if convicted. These charges can also result in a case being brought in family court, which is why it is important that you reach out now to one of our experienced New York trial attorneys to discuss your case.

A person may be charged with endangering the welfare of a child for a myriad of reasons, ranging from intentionally physically harming them, to leaving them in the car while they run into the store to pick up a pizza for dinner. The key elements involved in endangering the welfare of a child are first that they are under 17 years of age, but also that a person has knowingly acted in a way that would be likely to be physical, mental or morally damaging to the child. This charge can also be brought if the child is being directed to participate in a job that involves substantial risk of danger to the child’s health or life.

If a person is a parent, guardian or has legal custody of a child younger than 18 and does not act reasonable to prevent the child from becoming an abused child (non-accidental physical injury that could cause severe damage or death is inflicted, non-accidental infliction of emotional damage), a neglected child (mental or emotional condition is or will be impaired due the failure of the adult to exercise minimum degree of care in supplying food, clothing, shelter, education or medical support), a juvenile delinquent (a person between the ages of seven and seventeen who has acted in a way that would be a crime if they were over 18 but is not criminally responsible due to age, or a person in need of supervision (a person under 18 who does not attend school in regulation, or a person who is beyond the lawful control of the adult in charge of them) they can be charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

The third way for a person to be charged with endangering the welfare of a child is if they engage in actions with intent to abandon the child and the right to the custody of the child that are not in the best interests of the child. This does not include attempting to transfer custody and care to an appropriate person, making sure that the child is safe from physical or other injury. Although the law does not give specific instances in actions that could result in this charge, the scope is very broad and can be construed multiple ways. Because having acted knowingly is necessary for this crime to be charged, that element must be proved by the court. If you have been charged with endangering the welfare of a child, call our team of experienced New York trial attorneys now so that we can begin to work with you on how to take care of these charges.

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