The law believes that an adult who is responsible for caring for a youngster also has the responsibility of keeping that child protected from unreasonable danger. When the parent fails to do so, he or she could be found guilty of child endangerment.
Child endangerment is more than direct physical youngster abuse. You may also be accused of child endangerment if you allow any youngster to suffer needlessly, neglect a child’s health, allow a child’s health or well-being to be threatened, or if you inflict any form of mental cruelty, physical abuse, or emotional abuse on a child. In Washington state, it’s possible that you could be charged with the abuse of children in situations where you are not violating a law – for instance, when you are disciplining your own child. If you are arrested and charged with child endangerment in the greater Seattle area, consult with experienced Seattle child endangerment attorney Kevin Trombold at once. With more than two decades of criminal defense experience, attorney Kevin Trombold is eager to fight for justice on your behalf.
A SERIOUS CHARGE
Everyone wants to stop youngsters abuse, but a full legal definition of what constitutes child endangerment is a long definition because endangerment includes emotional and physical abuse, child neglect, and domestic violence. When you discipline your children, sometimes that action can be misinterpreted as signs of youngster abuse or twisted to seem worse than it is.
The state is understandably quite interested in preventing youngster abuse, so if you’re charged with child endangerment, you must have the counsel of an experienced Seattle youngster endangerment attorney who will aggressively challenge the state’s allegations against you. The punishments for defendants convicted of child endangerment can vary depending on the specifications of the alleged crime and the defendant’s previous convictions – if any – but if you’re convicted, do not expect the court to be merciful. Child protection is one of this state’s top priorities, so jail time is probable upon a youngster endangerment conviction.
Criminal mistreatment laws are just one of the ways that Washington can hold parents and caretakers accountable for the health and well-being of their children. The state of Washington can charge parents or other caretakers with criminal mistreatment of a youngster in the first degree if these caretakers recklessly cause great bodily harm by withholding food, water, shelter, clothing or other basic necessities from the child. This is a class B felony and may be punishable by a $20,000 fine and up to ten years in prison.
Criminal mistreatment of a youngster in the second degree occurs when a parent or caretaker acts recklessly and creates an imminent and substantial risk to the youngster because of this reckless behavior. You may also be charged with this crime if you cause the child to sustain a temporary injury on the body because you have withheld food, water, shelter, clothing or other basic necessities. This is a class C felony and could be punishable by a $10,000 fine and up to five years in prison.
Criminal mistreatment of a youngster in the third degree occurs when the criminal negligence of a parent or caretaker creates an imminent or substantial risk to the youngster. It can also be charged when the child has sustained a temporary injury because you have withheld food, water, shelter, clothing or other basic necessities. This is a gross misdemeanor that is punishable by a $5,000 fine and up to one year in jail. Although criminal mistreatment in the second and third degree are very similar, they do have one difference. Second degree criminal mistreatment occurs when the parent or caretaker acts recklessly, while third degree criminal mistreatment occurs as a result of criminal negligence.
Finally, criminal mistreatment in the fourth degree occurs when a parent or caretaker creates an imminent or substantial risk to the child or causes bodily injury or emotional distress to the youngster. This is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Besides criminal mistreatment charges, parents or other responsible adults may be accused of child endangerment for abandoning their youngster. This means that the adult has left the child alone without the ability to obtain the basic necessities that the youngster needs to survive. Abandonment is considered a form of child endangerment and is a separate charge from criminal mistreatment.
If you or a family member or friend has been charged with criminal mistreatment, contact a Seattle youngster endangerment lawyer as soon as possible.
EXAMPLES OF CHILD ENDANGERMENT
The definition of youngster endangerment is broad and therefore, a wide variety of actions can fall under this term. Some examples of child endangerment include:
Leaving a youngster locked in an unattended vehicle
Leaving a child unsupervised in an unsafe situation
Failing to report that you suspect a youngster is being abused or neglected by another person
Unreasonable punishment that results in bodily injury
Serving alcohol to an underage minor who then drives a vehicle while under the influence
Hiring a person with a history of child abuse or youngster sexual abuse as a childcare provider
Driving while intoxicated with a youngster in the vehicle with you
This is not a complete list of behaviors that can be considered youngster endangerment in the eyes of the Washington law. If you receive a conviction of child endangerment, contact a knowledgeable Seattle youngster endangerment attorney at the Law Offices of Kevin Trombold promptly.
AN AGGRESSIVE DEFENSE
A youngster endangerment charge can ruin your life unless you get the proper help from a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. Kevin Trombold and his team have over two decades of experience, along with a good reputation. If you are charged with youngster endangerment around the Seattle area, contact us at 206-382-9200.