Murfreesboro Child Endangerment Attorneys
What is child endangerment? The law defines child endangerment as conduct that places a child in imminent danger of death, bodily injury, physical or mental harm, or impairment. Tennessee law makes a few distinctions when it comes to child endangerment. For example, the law states that:
- A person must knowingly fail to protect a child from abuse or neglect that results in physical injury
- A child, in this case, is defined as eight years old or younger
- A child endangerment charge only applies to the parents or custodians of the child
Any state, including Tennessee, can elevate any offense to a federal child endangerment charge if two aggravating criteria are met. The first factor is intent; it must be determined that the subject willfully or intentionally caused harm or injury. The second factor is the degree of risk. Generally speaking, the more risk of great harm (i.e., bodily injury, death, or mental suffering), the more serious the charges could be.
Of course, we’re talking in simple terms right now. If you have a specific question about filing or defending a child endangerment case, contact our Murfreesboro family law attorneys for assistance.
What Are the Types of Child Endangerment Charges?
Child endangerment occurs whenever a child is willfully or recklessly placed in harm’s way and left unprotected. This is particularly true if there is a significant risk of injury or death. While endangerment can occur in a countless variety of situations, here a few common examples:
- Leaving a firearm, knife, or another dangerous weapon where a child could easily reach it.
- Leaving a child in the care of someone with a history of abusive behavior
- Failure to seek medical care for a child who is seriously ill
- Leaving a child alone in a vehicle
When our Murfreesboro child endangerment lawyers take a new case, we start by examining every element of the charges as we strategize our defense.
What is a Child Endangerment DUI?
In Tennessee, a person charged with driving under the influence (DUI) can be charged with child endangerment if an occupant in their car is 18 years old or younger. Even when a child does not suffer injuries, the penalties for a DUI with a child in the car are extremely serious. And if the child is injured or dies, the DUI charge is elevated to a felony.
According to Tennessee penalty statutes, a person driving under the influence can be charged with vehicular manslaughter if a child in their vehicle is seriously injured. Along the same lines, if a child passenger dies, the driver can be charged with vehicular homicide.
Get Answers from a Murfreesboro Child Endangerment Attorney
If you are involved in a child endangerment incident, it’s important to be proactive. Get legal counsel from a Murfreesboro child endangerment attorney. It’s important to have an ally in your corner to fight within the laws on your behalf. Contact Dotson & Taylor now for a free initial case evaluation. Ask any questions you may have, and we’ll be sure to get you all the information you need to proceed.