Oakland Risk of Injury to a Minor and Child Endangerment Charges
After a child endangerment arrest in Oakland, criminal proceedings will ensue. The post-arrest process will include submission of the report and investigation results to the District Attorney for prosecution. The DA will then decide whether to file charges.
Oakland risk of injury to a minor and child endangerment charges may vary depending on the nature of the alleged offense, the persons involved, and whether the risk of injury included sexual conduct. A child endangerment lawyer could explain the nature of your charges and work to defend your rights and interests to the furthest extent possible.
Misdemeanor vs. Felony
Determining whether child endangerment allegations lead to a felony or misdemeanor charge depends on the risk of great bodily injury or death. If there is a risk of great bodily injury or death to the child in question, that case will likely be charged as a felony. If it is instead a risk of minor injury or healthcare welfare, the case can be charged as a misdemeanor.
The consequences of being charged for a felony versus a misdemeanor can be quite substantial. For a felony, a defendant faces two, four, or six years in state prison and for a misdemeanor they may be looking at up to a year of time incarcerated. There will also be significant differences in the fines, probation, parole, and other terms and conditions of release.
Who Hears a Case
Cases involving child endangerment where there is a risk of injury to a minor are heard in criminal court in front of a judge. If the case goes to trial, then it could take place in front of either a jury or a judge. Other concurrent proceedings may include child custody, restraining orders, and CPS investigations, all of which will take place in different locations.
Risk of Injury Cases that Involve Sexual Conduct
Child endangerment cases are focused on the risk of injury, not the actual injury that occurs. If somebody is willfully inflicting injury on a child, that would result in a different set of charges and a different type of case.
Although criminal charges could still be levied against a bystander or somebody who willingly continues to put their child into the care of a person, knowing that that person is sexually abusing their child, they could be charged with risk of injury to a minor.
The difference between the risk of injury and the type of charge that would involve sexual contact with a minor is different degrees of conduct. The question of willful intent is the difference between a case involving a sexual act on a child or intentionally perpetrating an act on a child as opposed to allowing them to be in a situation that is unsafe.
A Lawyer Could Help Fight Child Endangerment Charges
No matter the specific allegations, a criminal defense attorney could help build an effective defense to Oakland risk of injury to a minor and child endangerment charges. A lawyer could collect relevant evidence, analyze police reports, negotiate with prosecutors, and do everything in their power to mitigate the consequences of a charge. Reach out as soon as possible for legal representation.