Were you recently arrested for child endangerment or abuse in Cincinnati, OH? The consequences of a conviction can be severe and far-reaching. In addition to jail time, you may face financial penalties, damage to your reputation, and even loss of child custody rights. An experienced Cincinnati child endangerment lawyer at Suhre & Associates, LLC can fight to protect you during this difficult time.
Collectively, our lawyers have over 100 years of experience handling complex criminal law matters. We even have former police officers and prosecutors on our team to provide insight into how the other side works.
Our goal is to make it as difficult as possible for the prosecution to convict. To learn more about how we’ll fight for you, call our law offices at (513) 333-0014 in Cincinnati, Ohio to schedule a free consultation today.
How Suhre & Associates, LLC Can Help If You Were Arrested for Child Endangerment in Cincinnati
When a person is accused of putting a child’s health and safety at risk, Ohio courts will do everything possible to secure the maximum penalties under the law. If you were accused of child endangerment, you need an experienced Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer by your side to minimize the consequences and fight to clear your name.
At Suhre & Associates, LLC, our attorneys have repeatedly been recognized for our exceptional legal representation. We’ve been listed among the National Trial Lawyers’ Top 100 Trial Lawyers, and we’ve been rated by Super Lawyers. We’ve also earned a perfect-10.0 Avvo rating.
Hiring our legal team means that you’ll have a strong advocate to:
- Conduct an independent investigation into the charges you’re facing
- Carefully analyze the prosecution’s evidence to identify any holes or weaknesses
- Protect your constitutional rights throughout the legal process
- Make sure you understand the consequences of any plea deal
- Negotiate with state prosecutors behind the scenes to get your charges reduced or dismissed if possible
- Fiercely advocate to protect your rights before a judge and jury if your case goes to trial
Our Cincinnati criminal defense attorneys have been handling cases like yours for decades. We know how to build the strong and effective defense you need and deserve. To learn more, call for a free consultation today.
Overview of Child Endangerment Laws in Ohio
Many different types of behaviors can put a child in danger in the state of Ohio. Child endangerment is defined in Section 2919.22 of the Ohio Criminal Code.
Section 2919.22(A) is defined very broadly. It applies to protect children under the age of 18 and mentally or physically disabled children under the age of 21.
To convict you for endangering a child under Section A of the statute, the prosecution is required to prove the following elements:
- You were the child’s parent, guardian, custodian, or otherwise in control and custody of the child
- You created a substantial risk to the health and safety of the child
- That risk was a violation of your duty to care for, protect, or support the child
The law can be interpreted to apply to nearly any type of behavior that creates a risk of injury or harm to a child. Police and prosecutors often use that to their advantage–but mere allegations don’t mean you’ll be convicted.
Section 2919.22(B) of the criminal code also lists certain types of behaviors that are expressly prohibited.
The law prohibits any person from:
- Abusing a child, whether that abuse involves physical or sexual abuse
- Torturing or cruelly abusing a child
- Using corporal punishment or physical restraints, if the punishment or restraint is both excessive under the circumstances and creates a substantial risk of serious physical harm
- Repeatedly administer unwarranted discipline if there is a substantial risk that the discipline will seriously impair the child’s mental health or development
- Entice, coerce, permit or otherwise allow the child to participate in obscene, sexually-oriented, or nudity-oriented performance or material
- Allow the child to be within 100 feet of a place where drugs are being manufactured if the person knows the drug crimes are occurring
- Operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a child in the vehicle in violation of Ohio Revised Statutes Section 4511.19
Typically, when police become aware of any of these activities, they refer the matter to child protective services (CPS) in Hamilton County. Child protective services is concerned with making sure children aren’t in danger. So, when they conduct their investigation, they will determine whether the child should be removed from the home or a parent’s parental rights should be terminated.
Meanwhile, law enforcement will conduct its own investigation. That investigation is geared toward determining whether you should be convicted of a crime.
The police investigation can influence CPS’s decision, as well. If you’re convicted of child abuse, CPS will be much more likely to move for termination of parental rights. On the other hand, if we can secure a not guilty verdict, that can be used as evidence that the child was not in danger of any harm.
What Are the Penalties For a Child Endangerment Conviction in Cincinnati, Ohio?
The penalties for putting a child in danger can be severe. The exact charge, however, will depend on the nature of the criminal offense involved. In other words, the severity of the punishment upon conviction will depend on the nature of the crime.
Penalties for child endangerment may include:
- Up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine for a first-degree misdemeanor conviction
- Between six months and 12 months in prison and a $2,500 fine for a fifth-degree felony
- Between six months and 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine for a fourth-degree felony
- Between nine months and three years in prison and a $10,000 fine for a third-degree felony
- Between two years and eight years in prison and a $15,000 fine for a second-degree felony
For example, if you’re accused of putting your child at risk of serious danger and have no prior convictions, you’ll likely be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. If your child was seriously injured, you could face felony charges.
If you’re convicted of endangering a child, you’ll also face significant collateral consequences. Individuals convicted of child endangerment will often be placed on supervised parole or probation after they complete their prison sentence. Parents and guardians who are convicted of endangering a child also stand to lose their child custody or visitation rights.
Depending on the exact circumstances of your case, additional collateral consequences for a conviction might include:
- A lasting criminal record
- Difficulty finding housing or employment
- Damage to your reputation and relationships
- Court-ordered counseling for anger management
- Drug or alcohol treatment or testing
- Loss of your right to own a firearm
- Problems with immigration and possible deportation
Ohio courts are serious about protecting children. If you were accused of putting a child at risk of physical or mental harm, don’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced Cincinnati child endangerment attorney for a free case review today.
At Suhre & Associates, LLC, we’ve been fighting to protect clients like you for decades. We’ll do everything possible to build the strong legal defense you deserve. Just call our law firm today to learn more about how an attorney can fight to win an acquittal in your case.
What Defenses Can Be Raised If I’m Accused of Child Endangerment in Ohio?
If you’re accused of child endangerment, a strong legal defense is your only chance of beating the charges. The type of defense strategy that will work in your case will depend heavily on the facts and the criminal charges you’re facing.
Potential defenses might include:
- False allegations
- Challenges to witness credibility
- Evidence that the child’s injuries did not result from child abuse (for example, if your child was injured by falling off a bike)
- You were exercising your parental right to discipline your child
- Insufficient evidence to support the charge
Prosecutors sometimes charge individuals with crimes they can’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Our lawyers will work behind the scenes to get your charges reduced or your case dropped if at all possible.
Our lawyers take allegations of child abuse and neglect seriously. If you were arrested or charged with abusing or neglecting a child, call to learn more about your legal options today. We’ll carefully investigate and gather evidence to prove your innocence and secure the best outcome in your case.
Don’t make the mistake of taking the accusations lightly. Instead, call an experienced defense lawyer in Cincinnati as soon as possible. The sooner we can start building your defense, the greater your chances of securing a not guilty verdict or having your case dismissed.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Cincinnati Child Endangerment Lawyer
Ohio State prosecutors will do everything possible to secure a criminal conviction if they suspect that someone has endangered a child’s safety. You deserve a lawyer who will be equally dedicated to fighting to protect your legal rights. Call a Cincinnati child endangerment lawyer at Suhre & Associates, LLC today to learn more about how we’ll put our knowledge and experience to work for you.