Fulton County Child Endangerment Lawyer
Child endangerment is a major offense. An arrest alone could have a negative impact on your life, and a conviction can be devastating. It can result in jail time, fines, and have a detrimental effect on your parental rights.
Fighting back against these charges requires quick, decisive action. The sooner you seek the guidance of a skilled domestic violence attorney, the sooner they could develop a defense tailored to the underlying facts of your case. Reach out to a Fulton County child endangerment lawyer from Hawkins Spizman as soon as possible following an arrest.
Child Endangerment and DUI
Arguably the most common form of child endangerment involves driving under the influence with a child in the vehicle. The outcome of these criminal charges is directly tied to the arrest for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Specifically, state law considers the act of driving under the influence with a passenger under the age of 14 as a form of child endangerment.
Proving this crime requires evidence of two general elements. First, the prosecution has to effectively demonstrate that the defendant was operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Typically, this is done through evidence that the driver had a blood alcohol concentration at or above the legal limit, or that they were “less safe” to drive a vehicle because of alcohol or drug impairment. If the state can show the driver is guilty of DUI, they have developed most of the evidence necessary for a child endangerment conviction.
The second element requires proof that at least one passenger in the vehicle at the time the defendant was driving was below the age of 14. Adult passengers or minors between the age of 14 and 17 will not result in a child endangerment charge. This element is typically not central to the case unless the defendant can provide proof the police incorrectly identified the passenger’s age.
Facing this type of child endangerment charge requires a well-rounded Fulton County defense attorney. Not only will an accused individual need a lawyer that is well-versed in criminal defense, but they also need counsel that understands how to take on a DUI charge. Aggressively fighting back against a conviction for drunk driving is often the best defense against this type of child endangerment case.
Penalties for Child Endangerment in Fulton County
The penalties for a child endangerment conviction are steep. State law treats a first offense for this crime as a misdemeanor. Upon conviction, a defendant could face a maximum of 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. A second offense is also a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 12 months, but it could bring a fine of as much as $5,000.
Third and subsequent offenses of child endangerment are felonies. If convicted, a defendant could spend as many as five years in prison and face a fine of no more than $12,000. A lawyer in Fulton County could help someone charged with child endangerment minimize the potential consequences they may be facing
How a Fulton County Child Endangerment Attorney Could Help
It should come as no surprise that the state takes an aggressive approach to protecting the safety of children. In some cases, this approach can result in false allegations of criminal conduct. If you are facing allegations of child endangerment, you have the right to fight back against these charges. Contact a Fulton County child endangerment lawyer from Hawkins Spizman immediately to learn more.