Hundreds of Cases Successfully Handled
Under Iowa law, there are a vast array of different actions that one can do to be charged with child endangerment including:
- Using illegal controlled substances around a child or minor
- Driving while intoxicated with the child in the vehicle
- Placing a child in another person's care knowing that the person is dangerous
Being accused of child endangerment can have very significant ramifications. People in the community look at you differently, you can lose your job, your financial resources can spiral downward, and most importantly, there is usually a no-contact order put in place preventing you from seeing your child and loved ones. The no-contact order can last up to five years after the case is over. There are ways that a person can modify the no-contact order, but you’ll usually have to wait 30-60 days before the court will really consider modifying the no-contact order.
From the second you learn of charges against you, it is in your best interest to contact a skilled child endangerment defense attorney in Des Moines. At Feld Law Firm, we have extensive experience representing Polk County’s criminally accused. Let us put that experience to work for you.
Defining Child Endangerment
A person who is the parent, guardian, or custodian of a child or a minor under the age of 18 with a mental or physical disability, or a person who is a member of the household in which a child or such a minor resides, commits child endangerment when they:
- Knowingly act in a manner that creates a substantial risk to a child or minor's physical, mental, or emotional health or safety. An example of this may be as simple as parents physically fighting in front of their children.
- Use unreasonable force, torture, or cruelty that results in bodily injury, or that is intended to cause serious injury. An example here may be leaving powerful fireworks along with matches in a child's presence.
- By an intentional act or series of intentional acts, evidence unreasonable force, torture, or cruelty that causes substantial mental or emotional harm to a child or minor.
- Willfully deprive a child or minor of necessary food, clothing, shelter, health care, or supervision appropriate to the child or minor's age, when the person is reasonably able to make the necessary provisions and which deprivation substantially harms the child or minor's physical, mental, or emotional health.
It should be noted that under this section, a "child" is considered to be a person 14 years old or younger. The age of the alleged endangered person is very important on the outcome of your case. In other words, you cannot be convicted of child endangerment in Iowa if the child is over the age of 14. The exception to this is if the person/child is over the age of fourteen and has a mental or physical disability.
Another type of child endangerment is abandoning a child knowing that they are unable to fend for themselves. It should be no surprise that sexual abuse is considered child endangerment. Allowing a person's child around a drug user, an intoxicated person, or a known sex offender is also considered child endangerment. In addition to the criminal penalties, the alleged offender is looking at going into his or her custody battle with a disadvantage. Being charged with child endangerment can lead to a domino effect if it is not handled right the first time.
Common Causes of Child Endangerment Charges
Most child endangerment charges stem from parents of children getting into a physical fight in front of the children. Generally, courts find that this is child endangerment if a physical fight is held in front of the children. In other circumstances, it involves a parent being intoxicated and taking the children with them in their vehicle. In addition to the child endangerment, they are charged with a DUI or OWI. In addition to the criminal charges, DHS usually gets involved in the matter.
Consult with Feld Law Firm
As you can imagine, being accused of child endangerment can be a very stressful and costly situation for a person. Child endangerment charges can tear apart families. It is a good idea to work with a child endangerment defense attorney in Des Moines to protect your rights and fight for you in court. A lot is riding on your rights with your children. At Feld Law Firm, we can tell you if you are eligible to have this charge expunged or dismissed from your record.
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Polk County Simple Misdemeanors Starting as low as $1000