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Grand Rapids Child Endangerment Lawyer

When someone is accused of a crime involving a child, is it easy to be scared, upset, and overwhelmed. An individual should contact a Grand Rapids child endangerment lawyer as quickly as possible if you end up in this situation.

A skilled defense attorney could address your concerns and answer any questions that you may have. They could also investigate your case to determine if there were any law enforcement errors, legal or factual errors or irregularities, and fully prepare you for upcoming court hearings.  Also, they make sure you understand how your case will proceed through the court system and negotiate a positive outcome for your case.

Possible Child Endangerment Charges

Child endangerment involves any kind of action or behavior that individuals engage in that would place a child in imminent danger of bodily injury, mental or physical impairment, or death. It does not matter whether the action or behavior at issue actually harms the child in any way. What matters is that the child was placed in imminent danger of harm.

In addition to criminal penalties, a child endangerment charge will most likely involve a report being made to Michigan’s Children’s Protective Services, whose caseworkers will investigate the situation for child neglect and abuse. This may result in the child being removed from your home and in the worst case scenario may result in the State attempting to terminate your parental rights.

One of the most common examples of child endangerment under Michigan law is operating while intoxicated (OWI) or under the influence of a controlled substance when there is a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle. Driving while intoxicated is a dangerous practice that places the child at risk of imminent harm due to a motor vehicle accident, which can result in serious injuries or death.

Penalties for Threatening the Safety of a Minor

Under Michigan Penal Code Section 257.625(7), a first-time conviction for child endangerment is a misdemeanor, which carries a penalty ranging from 48 hours to one year in jail, up to a $1,000 fine, or both, and up to 90 hours of community service. If related to an OWI, a conviction also can result in the loss of an individual’s driver’s license.

A second or subsequent conviction for child endangerment or an OWI-related offense within seven years is a felony charge, which has more severe potential penalties than a misdemeanor charge. An individual could serve either up to 60 days in jail and complete up to one year of community service or serve up to one year in jail and complete up to 180 days of community service.

This level of conviction also can result in up to a $5,000 fine and an indefinite suspension of an individual’s driver’s license if it is a second conviction within seven years or a third conviction within ten years. Vehicle immobilization is also a penalty in some cases. A Grand Rapids child endangerment lawyer could help an individual mitigate the penalties that they may face.

Working with a Grand Rapids Child Endangerment Attorney

Attorneys in Grand Rapids understand that the stakes are high in any criminal case that involves a child. Since no two cases are the same, Grand Rapids child endangerment attorneys take an in-depth, individualized look at your case.

Legal representatives work hard to develop the defense strategy in your case that is most likely to yield a favorable outcome. They can effectively and skillfully guide you through the process of fighting your child endangerment charges and work toward your objective for resolving your case. They can also work to prevent the child from being removed from your home and preclude the filing of an action to terminate your parental rights. Contact a Grand Rapids child endangerment lawyer right away to learn more about your legal options.