Child endangerment is an emotionally charged serious criminal offense in Ohio. There are many individuals throughout Ohio who are charged with child endangerment on a daily basis. Child endangerment cases are often the result of complicated and emotionally difficult experiences, which is why it is important to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. A child endangerment conviction can result in serious penalties and consequences that will forever impact the rest of your life. If convicted, you will likely face extensive prison time, large fines and fees, and the charge permanently being on your criminal background. People are often quick to judge child endangerment offenders, so you may also face a damaged reputation in your community.
If you are facing child endangerment charges, it is imperative that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Regardless of what happened in your case, it is understandable that you are probably scared and overwhelmed by the child endangerment charges that you are currently facing. You do not have to go through this experience alone. The Cincinnati Criminal Defense Attorneys are here to provide their understanding and legal counsel to help you deal with child endangerment charges that you are facing. The sooner you consult with a Cincinnati Criminal Defense Attorney, the better, as they will work diligently to achieve the most favorable outcome for your case. This could mean the difference between serving less jail or prison time to a complete dismissal of the menacing / stalking charges altogether.
Child endangerment is defined according to the Ohio Revised Code (ORC 2919.22) as anyone who is a parent, guardian or custodian of a minor who is under the age of 18 or is physically or mentally disabled and under the age of 21 that creates or poses a large risk to the health and safety of the child by violating their duty of care, protection and support. It is prohibited for anyone to engage in any of the following actions:
- Engages in abuse of a child;
- Tortures or abuses a child;
- Administers any sort of punishment or physical that deliberately inflicts pain for the purpose of discipline, physically restrains the child in a cruel way for a long period of time, which discipline, punishment or restraint is excessive under the circumstances and creates a substantial risk of serious harm or danger to a child;
- Repeatedly administers unwarranted disciplinary measures on a child, where there is a substantial risk that such conduct if continued will impair or delay a child’s mental development and health;
- Coerces, entices, uses or permits a child to participate in a situation that is obscene or has sexual implications;
- Operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs while a child is present in the vehicle.
Child Endangerment Penalties
The penalties that you will face for a child endangerment conviction are dependent on the severity of the facts and circumstances of your particular case.
If you are facing your first child endangerment offense, then you will most likely be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. This charge entails serving a maximum of up to six months in jail, paying up to $1,000 in fines, completing a maximum of 200 hours of community services.
If you have previously been convicted of any kind of offense involving neglect, abandonment or the abuse of a child, then you will be charged with a fourth-degree felony. This charge entails a minimum of six months and up to a maximum of 18 months in prison, in addition to fines up to $5,000.
If you are convicted of child endangerment and the facts of your case indicate that you created a large risk to the health or safety of a child and there was actual serious physical harm to the child, then you will be charged with a third-degree felony. This charge entails a minimum of one year and up to a maximum of five years in prison, paying up to $10,000 in fines, and completing up to 200 hours of community service.
If you are convicted of child endangerment and the facts of your case indicate that you abused a child and this also resulted in serious physical harm to the child, then you will be charged with a second-degree felony. This charge entails serving a minimum of two years and up to a maximum of eight years in prison, paying up to $15,000 in fines, and completing up to 200 community service hours.
Other Consequences of Child Endangerment
A child endangerment conviction in Ohio involves harsh and unforgiving consequences in addition to extensive prison time and exorbitant fines and fees. Due to the serious nature of child endangerment offenses, this charge could potentially be on your criminal background for the rest of your life.
A child endangerment conviction will profoundly impact all other areas of your life in a negative way. You may face having a reputation in your community as a dangerous and disturbed parent or guardian. You may also face difficulty keeping or finding a job, furthering your education, difficulty financially, obtaining loans, maintaining professional licensures and keeping custody of your children.
If you are facing child endangerment charge or conviction, it is imperative that you immediately contact the Cincinnati Criminal Defense Attorneys. A child endangerment charge can be an overwhelming and anxiety-inducing experience, and you do not have to go through it alone. Although every case is different, it is crucial that you obtain an experienced, knowledgeable and compassionate attorney as soon as possible who will fight vigorously for your legal rights and best interest. The sooner you speak with an attorney, the better your options will be regarding your sentence. The Cincinnati Criminal Defense Attorneys have successfully defended hundreds of individuals charged with child endangerment. Their knowledge, experience and compassion for your case will help you receive the justice you deserve.