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Endangering the Welfare of a Child

Parents and guardians have a legal responsibility to ensure their children do not come into harm. Parents must supervise children and set age-appropriate boundaries and limitations to reduce the risk of a child injury. In recent years, however, the definition of parental responsibility and parent supervision has shifted in the eyes of prosecutors and the court of public opinion. Parents have been questioned by child protective services and even arrested for letting their kids play in parks alone or walk home alone. These types of behaviors used to be a normal part of childhood but can now get your kids taken away and result in you being accused of a crime.

If you have been accused of endangering the welfare of a child, you must understand your legal rights and options in order to protect your future and your family.

A New York criminal attorney at Bukh Law Firm, P.C. can review your case, provide you with legal advice on responding to your charges, and represent you at every step of negotiating a plea bargain or making a case at trial to avoid being convicted. Call today to learn more.

New York Laws on Endangering the Welfare of a Child

Endangering the Welfare

New York Law Article 260 defines offenses related to children, as well as to disabled individuals and vulnerable elderly persons.   This Article makes it a crime to abandon a child; to fail to support a child; and to endanger the welfare of a child.

Code Section 260.10 defines the circumstances under which you may be accused of endangering the welfare of a child. These include:


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Parents or guardians who are responsible for the care of a child who is under 18 can also be convicted of child endangerment if they fail to exercise reasonable diligence controlling the child in order to prevent the child from becoming abused, neglected, a person in need of supervision, or a juvenile delinquent.

The offense of endangering the welfare of a child is a Class A misdemeanor. A class A misdemeanor is just one step down from a felony and there is a very real risk that you will serve time in jail if convicted of endangering a child. You could be sentenced to up to a year of imprisonment.

An accusation that you have endangered the welfare of a child could also result in the temporary or permanent loss of your parental rights, depending upon the circumstances. The child’s other parent could receive custody if you are separated or divorced, or your child could be placed with another relative or in foster care.


How a New York City Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

Because endangering the welfare of a child is a crime, you have the right to a lawyer, you have the right to a trial before being convicted, and you have the right to be innocent until proven guilty in the eyes of the judge and jury.

Unless a prosecutor can show beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of child endangerment, you should be able to avoid conviction. You can also negotiate a plea bargain or try to defend yourself in court.

A NYC defense lawyer at the Bukh Law Firm, P.C. can provide you with advice on your options and represent you as your case progresses through the justice system. Call today to learn more.

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