If you have been accused of child abuse or neglect, you need the Dayton child endangerment lawyers at Suhre & Associates, LLC on your team. Criminal defense lawyer Joe Suhre has fought to protect his clients’ freedom and parental rights for over 20 years.
A criminal charge for child endangerment can be very scary for parents. Not only are you facing possible prison time, you are also facing the prospect of a Child Protective Services (CPS) investigation. The state may even try to terminate your parental rights and take your kids away.
Suhre & Associates, LLC will not stand by while the government threatens to tear your family apart and lock you up. We will be there fighting for you every step of the way. Contact us today in Dayton, OH at (937) 531-0435 for a free consultation to discuss your case.
How Can Suhre & Associates, LLC Help with Child Endangerment Charges in Dayton?
Dayton child endangerment lawyers at Suhre & Associates, LLC know that there is nothing more painful than someone accusing you of being a bad parent or caretaker. In this day and age, the state has become more and more eager to stick its nose into the private lives of families.
Child protective services will claim to have your child’s best interest in mind. In reality, being put into the system is often the worst thing that can happen to a child. As a loving parent or caretaker, you understand this better than anyone. So do we.
When you hire our Dayton criminal defense lawyers, we will begin building your defense, doing things like:
- Demanding every shred of evidence from prosecutors
- Sending our own investigators out to interview witnesses
- Working with experts such as doctors and child psychologists to defend you
- Challenging the admissibility of evidence seized in violation of your constitutional rights
- Taking your case to trial
Sometimes our investigators find evidence that convinces prosecutors to drop a case altogether. Other times child psychologists demonstrate flawed recollections or testimony from children at trial. Child endangerment cases are complex and require a multi-pronged approach using every legal tool available.
When the state of Ohio accuses you of child endangerment, the clock is ticking. You cannot afford to wait while police and child welfare officers build their case against you. Contact us right away in Dayton, Ohio, for your free consultation to get started on your defense.
What is Child Endangerment in Ohio?
Child endangerment in Dayton, Ohio, is prosecuted under Statute 2919.22, “Endangering Children.” This statute covers many types of unlawful conduct in regard to children. Part A of the statute is the broader provision and only applies to caretakers.
The elements of child endangerment under 2919.22(A) are:
- The defendant, who is a parent, guardian, custodian, or in custody or control of a child;
- Created a substantial risk to the health or safety of a child;
- By violating a duty of care, protection, or support.
This statute is written extremely broadly. Broadly written statutes sometimes come under attack for violating your due process rights. Due process rights are in place to protect fundamental fairness in the court system. One due process right is the right to be on notice of what conduct is illegal.
Broadly worded statutes have been attacked with the “void for vagueness” doctrine. Sadly, courts continue to uphold statutes such as this one as not void for vagueness.
The other way to be charged with endangering children is Statute 2919.22(B). This subsection is much more clear than Part A, as it prohibits specific types of conduct.
Part B prohibits any person from doing the following:
- Domestic abuse of a child
- Torturing or cruelly abusing a child
- Use physical punishment or restraint which is excessive under the circumstances and creates a substantial risk of serious physical harm
- Repeatedly administer unwarranted discipline when there is a substantial risk it will impair the child’s mental health or development
- Allowing or encouraging a child to participate in the creation of obscenity or sexually-oriented material or other sex crimes
- Knowingly allowing a child to be within 100 feet of a place of drug manufacturing
- Operating a motor vehicle under the influence with any minor in the vehicle
When the police become aware of these behaviors, they will refer the case to Child Protective Services. While law enforcement conducts a criminal investigation to try to put you behind bars, CPS will conduct their own investigation to determine if they want to move for a termination of parental rights (TPR). A criminal conviction makes a TPR much more likely, whereas an acquittal will reduce the chances.
With two parallel investigations running, it can be very confusing who you should and shouldn’t talk to. Child services will try to seem friendly. Police may act disinterested and downplay the seriousness of the investigation to get you to talk.
The only safe course of action is to invoke your right to silence and ask for your attorney before you speak with anyone. You need legal counsel watching your back every step of the way.
What are the Penalties for Child Endangerment in Ohio?
Child endangerment charges are usually very serious felonies. A felony is the most serious type of crime, and carries substantial prison exposure. The criminal complaint that you receive in court will state your charges and the minimum and maximum penalties for the same.
Because every case is charged differently, you should work closely with your criminal defense attorney to determine what you are facing.
Some of the ways child endangerment is classified in Dayton, Ohio, include:
|2nd Degree Felony||2 years prison min to 12 years prison max||$15,000 max|
|3rd Degree Felony||9 months to 3 years prison||$10,000 max|
|4th Degree Felony||6 – 18 months prison||$5000 max|
|5th Degree Felony||6 – 12 months prison||$2500 max|
|1st Degree Misdemeanor||Up to 180 days jail||$1000 max|
After being released from prison, someone convicted of endangering a child will typically be placed on community supervision for an extended period of time. Failing to follow the conditions of parole can mean serving the remainder of the sentence behind bars.
Sometimes probation can be obtained to reduce the amount of time spent in custody. A good criminal defense attorney knows how to present favorable evidence at a sentencing hearing to try to obtain a more lenient sentence.
As has been discussed, one of the worst penalties is a TPR, which may cause you to lose custody of your child. A conviction for child endangerment makes this penalty far more likely. You have the right to fight a TPR in court, and fighting your criminal case is a key piece of this.
We understand how scary these penalties are. Defending the rights of those accused of crimes is our passion and life’s work. Contact us right away to get started fighting back.
Contact Suhre & Associates, LLC to Protect Your Future
Our Dayton child endangerment lawyers will be there for you when it feels like the whole world is against you. Our criminal defense lawyers have helped thousands of clients facing serious felony charges. When your future is on the line, we know what to do.
Our aggressive strategies put the state on its heels. We will not let the government tear your family apart without putting up a huge fight. Contact our team right away so we can begin defending your family’s future.