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Child abuse charges are serious and can lead to severe consequences if the criminal court finds you guilty. A wide range of actions could lead to child endangerment charges. If you are under investigation or have been arrested for allegations of this nature, it is crucial that you contact a domestic violence attorney. A conviction could lead to long-term consequences that could follow you for many years. Having the guidance of an experienced defense attorney is vital to protecting your future.

Call a hard-working Marquette child endangerment lawyer to schedule a consultation.

Scenarios that Could Result in Child Endangerment Charges

The legislation in this state does not explicitly address child endangerment. Thus, charges would fall under the child abuse statutes. Many different types of circumstances could result in charges of this type, including:

  • Leaving a child alone in a parked car
  • Driving recklessly with a minor in the car
  • Using drugs in the presence of a minor
  • An incidence of domestic violence in front of a child
  • Exposing a minor to pornography
  • Physical discipline that results in bruises or marks
  • Purposely causing or allowing a child to be physically harmed in any way

It is important to note that while physical or mental injury is a cause for child abuse charges, the child does not have to suffer any actual bodily harm for endangerment allegations to be present. The simple act of placing a minor in a circumstance that has the potential for harm is enough to bring about criminal penalties. It is critical to seek the counsel of a qualified attorney in Marquette who has working knowledge of child endangerment claims to ensure the best possible legal outcome.

Child Endangerment Convictions and Penalties

The potential penalties for a child abuse conviction will depend on the circumstances of the case and the individual’s criminal background. Under the Michigan Penal Code § 750.136b, if the court finds a person guilty of a first offense, they will receive a misdemeanor on their permanent record and up to one year in jail.

An individual with a prior conviction will receive a felony on their criminal record and up to two years in prison. A child endangerment attorney in Marquette could review the details of an arrest and answer specific questions on the charges and potential penalties.

Fourth-Degree Child Abuse

Fourth-degree child abuse is the lowest level of child endangerment charges a person can face. A person who causes physical harm to a child by their actions or omission can face child abuse in the fourth degree.

Third-Degree Child Abuse

Third-degree child abuse occurs when a person knowingly and intentionally causes physical harm to a minor. If an adult does not ensure a child is in a car seat or wearing a seat belt and they sustain injuries, they could face child abuse charges in the third degree. An individual could also face these charges for putting children at an unreasonable risk of suffering damage.

Second-Degree Child Abuse

Child abuse in the second degree happens with a person is reckless and causes severe harm to a minor. Even if the child does not sustain injuries, intentional mental or physical damage also falls under second-degree child abuse.

First-Degree Child Abuse

First-degree child abuse charges are the most severe a person can face. If an individual knowingly or intentionally does anything to cause physical or mental harm to a child, they could face first-degree child abuse and severe consequences.

Schedule a Meeting with a Marquette Child Endangerment Attorney

It is not uncommon for law enforcement or state prosecutors to be overzealous in prosecuting cases that involve minors. If you face child endangerment charges or are under investigation by the child protective services, planning an efficient defense is the best way to reach the most favorable outcome possible.

A seasoned Marquette child endangerment lawyer could help you navigate the criminal court process and advocate on your behalf. Call Berger Law today to schedule a consultation to learn more about how we can help.