Child endangerment laws make putting a child's life or health at risk through the lack of concern or recklessness of adults a crime, says LegalMatch. In some states child endangerment is a separate offense, while in others it is included in child abuse statutes.Continue Reading
Various states define specific acts of child endangerment differently and the penalties vary, explains LegalMatch. Common examples include failing to report possible child abuse, leaving a child unsupervised in a dangerous area or in the care of another child, intoxicated driving with a child in the car, giving alcohol to an underage driver and corporal punishment that results in injuries. Hiring a childcare provider with a known history of sexual offenses is another example of child endangerment. Producing drugs when children are present is an instance of child endangerment. Leaving a child alone in a car is considered child endangerment.
Child endangerment laws are applied broadly whenever a parent or guardian places a child in a dangerous or unhealthy situation, says CriminalDefense Lawyer. These laws apply to situations in which a child is actually injured and also circumstances that simply create a potential for injury. Even if parents or guardians do not realize a situation is dangerous, they can still be charged with child endangerment. State law and the degree of possible harm determine whether a child endangerment case is prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony.Learn more about Law