Despite no specific statute carrying a “child endangerment” label, state law still clearly defines that placing a child in harm’s way is illegal. This includes acting in a way that deliberately injures a child, or putting a child at risk of injury or death. This law applies equally to parents and those who have temporary guardianship over a child, such as a babysitter.

If you face accusations of harming a child through intentional acts of violence or neglect, a Griffin child endangerment lawyer is here to help. A knowledgeable attorney can explain the laws that apply in your case, evaluate the information that the prosecutor intends to bring to court, and develop a defense that protects your freedom and ability to remain a positive presence in a child’s life.

Possible Charges for Alleged Child Endangerment

Because there are no charges that carry the label of “child endangerment,” law enforcement and prosecutors may pursue charges under several other laws that aim to punish people who injure children or place them in dangerous situations.

Charges that Allege Causing Intentional or Criminal Negligent Harm to Kids

Traditional examples of charges related to harming children are those that fall under the umbrella of cruelty to children. There are three levels of these accusations under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 16-5-70. They are:

  1. Cruelty in the third degree, which alleges a situation where a person allows a child under the age of 18 to witness a felony or battery when the defendant was the aggressor
  2. Cruelty in the second degree, which involves cases where a defendant causes cruel or excessive physical or mental pain through criminal negligence
  3. Cruelty in the first degree, where a person willfully deprives a child of food or water to the extent that this jeopardizes the child’s health. This may also involve cases alleging the malicious infliction of physical or mental pain.

Third-degree offenses are misdemeanors, while second or first-degree offenses are felonies with a mandatory minimum prison sentence. A Griffin attorney is familiar with these laws and can determine how they may apply in a particular child endangerment case.

Cases Involving other Charges that May Involve Child Endangerment

Not every child endangerment case will fit under the umbrella of supposed child cruelty. Others may revolve around the idea that a person’s carelessness placed a child in harm’s way. These could include charges related to the unsafe use of a firearm or reckless driving around a minor. A Griffin attorney is prepared to present a tailored defense against child endangerment charges that often bring enhanced penalties upon conviction.

Possible Defenses Against Allegations of Child Endangerment

There are two main concepts that people facing charges related to endangering a child must remember. First, there is a criminal case at the core of the matter. A conviction for even a misdemeanor case can create a criminal record and require a lengthy jail sentence. In addition, felony matters often come with mandatory minimum prison terms and can require the forfeiture of firearms.

At the same time, the mere accusation of child endangerment may justify creating a protective order that requires an end to all contact with the child in question or a case with DFCS. This could force a parent to move out of a family home and lose all contact. A child harm lawyer in Griffin can work to mitigate criminal charges and dispute the need for restrictive restraining orders.

Let a Griffin Child Endangerment Attorney Help Protect You

Allegations of child endangerment are taken very seriously. Even before a case gets to trial, a court may impose a restraining order that forces an end to all contact with the child. If a case ends with a conviction, this order may become permanent, making it vital to seek legal counsel as soon as possible.

A Griffin child endangerment lawyer is here to help. Reach out today to discover how we can help you in your unique circumstance.

J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC

J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC