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Kids are among the most vulnerable members of society. Most people recognize that children do not always have the physical strength or mental toughness to defend themselves. This can result in various situations where children are at risk of imminent harm.
Because of these vulnerabilities, state law and police act swiftly to protect children. This can result in criminal charges alleging that you have intentionally caused harm or allowed a child to be in a dangerous situation. Regardless of the circumstances that led to these accusations, you need legal representation from a dedicated attorney. At Grand Canyon Law Group, a Tempe child endangerment lawyer can explain the state’s child protection laws and build an effective defense on your behalf.
The child endangerment laws in Tempe aim to protect children above all else. This even supersedes a parent’s rights. The specific laws can result in criminal prosecution for both intentional acts of violence and accidental situations that place a child in harm’s way.
Many child endangerment cases allege that a parent or other caretaker has caused intentional harm to a child. These incidents usually fall under the umbrella of child abuse. According to Arizona Revised Statute § 13-3623, these cases allege that either a parent or a caretaker has acted in a way that allows a child to suffer a physical injury or be in danger of harm. These allegations may come alongside battery, assault, and domestic violence charges.
Not every child endangerment case alleges that a person has acted in a way that intends to cause harm to a child. In fact, many cases move forward on allegations that a person acted carelessly or recklessly and placed a child in danger. A common example outlined by AZ Rev. Stat. § 13-1201 is reckless endangerment.
Here, it is against the law for any person to act in a way that places another at substantial risk of physical injury or death. Examples may include allegations of drunk driving, the unsafe use of firearms, or abandonment involving a child. A seasoned attorney at our Tempe office can provide more information about the laws prosecutors may use to pursue child endangerment cases.
The possible punishment after a child endangerment conviction depends upon which statutes a prosecutor uses to pursue the case. In instances of child abuse, these cases are always Class 2 felonies. This means that a first conviction can carry a wide range of potential prison sentences. Mitigating factors may result in a sentence as short as three years. However, aggravating factors could result in a term of up to 12.5 years.
Additionally, the State or other parties may ask a court to terminate the parental rights of a guilty party. Our local child endangerment lawyers are dedicated to fighting back against allegations involving the supposed causing of intentional harm.
Cases that allege incidental harm to a child are less severe. Still, the law classifies reckless endangerment as a Class 1 misdemeanor in most situations. As a result, a conviction will create a criminal record and could even see a court imposing a jail sentence of up to six months. Allowing a child endangerment attorney to take the lead in a case could help people avoid these penalties.
Allegations that you have allowed a child to be in a dangerous situation or intentionally caused harm are serious matters. In every instance, a conviction can result in jail time. If you are accused of intentionally causing harm, you may face a mandatory minimum prison term.
A Tempe child endangerment lawyer is here to fight for your freedom and parental rights. At Grand Canyon Law Group, we work to contest the core allegations in your criminal case and dispute the need for restraining orders that may require you to cease all contact with a child. Call us today for a consultation.