According to the statutes of the state of New York, if you are responsible for providing care for a child, you are expected to keep the child reasonably safe from dangerous situations. If you fail to keep a child reasonably safe, you face the prospect of facing a charge of endangering the welfare of a child.
Elements of Endangering the Welfare of a Child
There are three primary elements associated with the endangering the welfare of a child law in the state of New York. First, you may be charged with endangering the welfare of a child law if you knowingly act in a way that is likely to endanger the physical, mental, or moral welfare of a child less than 17-years old.
Second, you may be charged with endangering the welfare of a child law if you permit a child to engage is some activity that has a reasonable likelihood of exposing the child to a substantial risk of harm. Finally, you can be charged with this crime if you are a parent or guardian of a child and you fail to make a reasonable effort to prevent a child from becoming abused, neglected, or a juvenile delinquent.
Examples of Endangering the Welfare of a Child
An example of conduct that might give rise to a charge of endangering the welfare of a child involves a parent who permits teenagers to consume alcohol in his or her residence. This conduct might lead to other types of charges as well.
Another example of endangering the welfare of a child could arise from a situation in which a parent fails to obtain timely medical care or treatment for a child who takes ill. If a parent knows a child is ill to a degree that medical assistance would appear warranted, a parent has an obligation to seek professional help in some situations.
Sentence for Endangering the Welfare of a Child
Endangering the welfare of a child is classified as a class A misdemeanor, the most serious level of misdemeanor in the state of New York. The maximum term of incarceration upon conviction of this crime is one year in jail. In the alternative, a judge could also sentence a person convicted of endangering the welfare of a child to three years probation.
Defenses to Endangering the Welfare of a Child
An example of a defense in a case of endangering the welfare of a child arises from the example involving medical care. If parents maintain sincerely held religious beliefs that preclude certain types of medical treatments, the decision of parents not to obtain this course of medical assistance might prove to be an effective defense to a charge of endangering the welfare of a child.
New York law has carved out a defense to endangering the welfare of a child in the case of a child alleging an adult committed sexual assault on the child. If the child suffers from a diagnosed mental incapacity or defect, there must be a corroborating witness to the allegations made by the child in question for a charge of endangering the welfare of a child to stand.
An NYC criminal lawyer can provide a person charged with endangering the welfare of a child viable defenses to the crime in many instances. The first step in retaining legal representation in this type of case is scheduling an initial consultation with a New York criminal defense attorney.
During an initial consultation, legal counsel provides a prospective client with a case evaluation. An attorney will also answer any questions about a charge of endangering the welfare of a child.