North County Endangerment Defense Lawyers
Child endangerment charges are filed if it is believed that a person has put a child at risk of great bodily harm or loss of life. Child endangerment charges are often the result when a driver is pulled over and found to be over the limit with a child in the vehicle.
California law states that if any person permits the health of a child under 18 to be injured or willfully puts a child into a situation that endangers their health, the result could be a misdemeanor or felony child endangerment charge. The situations that could lead to charges include:
- Leaving a child unattended in a vehicle, particularly in hot weather
- Failing to care for a child due to alcohol or drug intoxication
- Serving alcohol to an underage person
- Leaving a child under the care of a person who abuses them
- Drug manufacturing in a home where a child lives
- Failing to properly secure a child in a car seat or booster seat as required by law
After being charged with a misdemeanor or felony child endangerment, the court typically bars your contact with your child until the legal issues are resolved, which could take many months. A young child could be in the care of CPS, in a foster home situation, or with relatives. This situation is shocking, frightening, and overwhelming and requires help from a skilled criminal attorney to protect your rights – and defendants DO have rights under the law.
The penalties imposed in a conviction can be severe:
- If convicted of misdemeanor child endangerment, you could face up to 12 months in county jail
- If convicted of felony child endangerment, the penalties imposed can be incarceration in state prison for two, four, or six years.
- If probation is granted, it will be a mandatory minimum period of 48 months.
- If probation is granted, it will include the completion of a counseling program, which must be started at once when probation is granted.
- If probation is granted, it will require total abstinence from drugs or alcohol during probation, with random testing.
Many people charged with child endangerment had the nightmare begin after being pulled over and tested for drunk driving. If it is alleged you were operating a vehicle while over the limit with a child under 18 in the car, you may face both DUI and child endangerment charges. This situation could lead to a parent losing access to a child, who is removed by Child Protective Services (CPS), an extremely frightening situation for both the child and the parent.
State lawmakers enhanced the penalties for DUI if a child under 14 was a passenger. For a first-time offense, you will spend a mandatory 48 hours in jail. If you have a prior conviction, you could face a much longer penalty if you are charged with a second, third, or fourth offense.
If the child endangerment charges are associated with a DUI offense, several defense strategies could be effective. Your criminal defense attorney must perform a thorough investigation into the facts to identify the flaws in the case against you, which could include:
- Illegal police stop
- Faulty testing unit
- Constitutional rights violations
- Improperly administered test
- Medical condition contributed to BAC reading
- Field sobriety tests administered incorrectly
- Police did not follow proper procedures
- Lab errors
If you have been charged with child endangerment, whether for DUI or another alleged crime, you need an attorney on your side who will fight for every possible benefit. At jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys, we take on these cases with confidence, determination, and focus. As one of the leading criminal lawyers in the North County area, your case will be in the hands of a true legal professional.
Call jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys today at (760) 630-2000 for top quality DUI defense.
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