Children are vulnerable and Illinois law seeks to ensure the best interest of every child is always a number one priority. When an individual is charged with child endangerment under Illinois law, the criminal justice system seeks a harsh punishment to deter individuals from posing a serious risk of harm to children. While many accused individuals are guilty of the crime they are charged with, a significant number of individuals are innocent.
However, innocent or not, facing a child endangerment charge can be frightening and the feeling of uncertainty can make it difficult to deal with the criminal process. Having well-rounded and quality legal representation at a time like this is key to overcoming a child endangerment charge in Illinois, whether that means dismissal of the charge, or a resolution with the goal of avoiding jail time. Chicago-based Child Endangerment Defense Attorney David L. Freidberg has the necessary experience and commitment to help you get through a tough fight.Child Endangerment in Illinois
Under Illinois law, 720 ILCS 5/12C-5, an individual may be found guilty of child endangerment if he or she knowingly (1) causes or permits the life or health of a child under the age of 18 to be endangered; or (2) causes or permits a child to be placed in circumstances that endanger the child’s life or health. The definition of child endangerment is very broad, and prosecutors are able to consider a wide variety of conduct when determining whether or not someone should be charged with child endangerment. If you or someone you know has been arrested and charged with child endangerment in Illinois, you should seek legal counsel immediately. David L. Freidberg is a Chicago-based Criminal Defense Attorney with extensive experience in all aspects of criminal law, and he will provide you with outstanding legal representation.
Examples of child endangerment under Illinois law include, but may not be limited to, the following:
- Leaving a child 6 years of age or younger in an unattended motor vehicle for more than 10 minutes;
- Leaving a child under the age of 18 in an abandoned home or building;
- Failing to remove a child under the age of 18 from a violent and/or abusive environment;
- Possessing and/or using drugs in front of a child under the age of 18; and
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a child under the age of 18 as a passenger.
Illinois law defines “unattended” as being unaccompanied by a person 14 years of age or older, or if accompanied by a person 14 years of age or older, out of sight of that person. A conviction of child endangerment is considered a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. If the convicted individual is a parent, the sentence may be probation. A second or subsequent child endangerment conviction is considered a Class 3 felony. If a child dies as a result of child endangerment, the crime is considered a Class 3 felony, and the punishment if convicted results in prison time not less than two years to not more than ten years. Because the consequences of a child endangerment conviction in Illinois can be serious, it is crucial to speak with an experienced Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney who will advocate on your behalf to the fullest extent possible.How a Chicago Child Endangerment Defense Attorney Can Help You
Many people charged with child endangerment (or any other crime) are worried about the expense of hiring an attorney. While there is a cost for quality legal services, the risk of going to prison and tarnishing your criminal record is certainly not worth the savings you will have by not hiring an attorney. A public defender will be appointed if you are not able to pay for legal services, however, if there is any way for you or your loved ones to pay the expense of hiring a criminal defense attorney, the outcome of potentially avoiding prison is worth the expense.
Upon retaining a Chicago Child Endangerment Defense Attorney, you will be presented with various options and steps for how to approach your criminal charge and reach the best result possible for your individual circumstances. Your attorney will first evaluate the facts of your case to determine if your constitutional rights were violated. If so, there may be grounds for dismissing your child endangerment charge. If there are no constitutional grounds for dismissal, then your attorney will seek to resolve the criminal charge in the most feasible way possible.
If you believe you would win at trial, you may pursue your case and plead not guilty, allowing a jury to determine the outcome of your case. Your attorney will explain to you what the likelihood of a favorable outcome would be at trial based on the evidence available. If you may have a tough time winning at trial, then it may be a better idea to enter into a plea deal if such a deal would allow you to plead guilty to a lesser charge and avoid jail.
Further, you may be able to raise defenses to a charge of child endangerment in Illinois and this may be helpful when resolving your criminal charge. Defenses to a child endangerment charge include, but certainly are not limited to, a lack of intent to endanger the child’s life and safety, and proof that the conduct giving rise to the child endangerment charge was a mistake or an accident.
It is also important to remember that parents may lose their parental rights if convicted of child endangerment, depending on the nature and severity of the conduct that allegedly endangered the child’s life and safety. When parental rights are at stake, it is even more important to ensure you have the best legal representation possible provided by an excellent Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney.Contact Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney David L. Freidberg Today to Schedule Your Free Confidential Consultation
A child endangerment conviction can leave you or a loved one locked up behind bars. Illinois law takes child endangerment very seriously given that children are vulnerable and at greater risk for suffering harm if they are not properly cared for. As with all criminal charges, you have the ability to fight your charge because you are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Simply being charged with child endangerment does not mean you are automatically guilty. In order to have the best chance of resolving your criminal matter in the most favorable way possible, it is imperative that you consult with a Chicago Child Endangerment Defense Attorney right away. The longer you wait, the more difficult it may be for your attorney to gather the necessary facts in a very short period of time. With more than 20 years of experience, Attorney David L. Freidberg will use all resources possible to help you fight your child endangerment charge. If you would like to speak with David L. Freidberg regarding your criminal matter, contact us today by calling (312) 560-7100, or you may contact us via email and we will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible. We are available 24/7 to assist you with your criminal matter.