A conviction for child endangerment could have a dramatic impact on your future. Like any criminal charge, you could be hit with steep fines and possible jail time. This offense, in particular, could also result in significant limitations of your parental rights. Thankfully, a dedicated criminal defense attorney could help you through this difficult chapter.
Our team could help you develop a defense strategy that fits the specific circumstances of your case. In many situations, an aggressive and effective defense could result in the dismissal of the charges against you. A Toledo child endangerment lawyer could help you determine a course of action following your arrest.
Defining Child Endangerment
In Toledo, the offense of child endangerment is governed by Ohio Revised Code § 2919.22. According to the statute, it is a criminal offense to create a substantial risk of harm to a child. However, there are other elements of this offense, and these elements relate to the relationship between the accused and the child in question.
In order for a person to be convicted of child endangerment, they must have some form of legal duty to the child in question. Specifically, a person only commits child endangerment if they violate a duty of protection or support that they owed to the child. To owe this duty, the adult must have been:
- The parent of the minor
- The guardian of the minor
- In custody of the minor
- In loco parentis of the minor
While the offense is known as child endangerment, a person could be convicted of putting certain protected adults at risk of serious injury as well. The child endangerment statute applies not only to minors but also to anyone aged 18 to 20 who has a form of physical or mental handicap. A Toledo child endangerment attorney could help with any form of alleged neglect.
For a legal consultation with a child endangerment lawyer serving Toledo, call (419) 930-3030
Defenses in a Child Endangerment Case
Selecting a defense strategy is an important part of the work a Toledo attorney could do in a child endangerment case. There are different defenses available but some could be more appropriate than others, depending on the circumstances. Finding the appropriate defense strategy is one of the key ways that a person could avoid conviction.
The unfortunate reality is that many child endangerment cases are based on false accusations. There are countless reasons why serious allegations of this type might be fabricated. When a divorce or custody dispute is ongoing, the other parent might see a false accusation as leverage. In some instances, false accusations stem from little more than anger or bitterness. It is important to thoroughly debunk any false accusation of child abuse.
Lack of Evidence
Like any criminal case, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person has committed child endangerment. Without enough evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, acquittal should be the most appropriate outcome.
There are times when an alleged act of child endangerment does not meet the level outlined in the statute. For example, there are circumstances when placing a child at risk of danger could be necessary or even unavoidable due to some other situation occurring.
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Contact a Toledo Child Endangerment Attorney as Soon as Possible
Child endangerment charges should be taken seriously. In addition to potential penalties, a conviction could disrupt your ability to visit with your child. If you have been arrested or are under investigation, do not delay in seeking out legal counsel. Let a Toledo child endangerment lawyer help you review your defense options and select the best path forward. Call right away for a confidential consultation.