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What are the Penalties for Child Endangerment in New York?

The term “child endangerment” applies to a wide range of alleged behaviors. A conviction can negatively impact the rest of your life, impairing your prospects for employment, housing, government benefits, student loans, adopting children and more. If you’ve been accused of child endangerment, please read on, then contact an experienced Spring Valley child endangerment lawyer to learn what the penalties are for child endangerment in New York.

What are the penalties for child endangerment in New York?

Endangering the welfare of a child is a Class A misdemeanor in the state of New York. If you are convicted, you can be sent to prison for up to 1 year or be placed on probation for 3 years. Depending on the unique circumstances of your case, you may also be charged with felony child endangerment, which could mean several years in prison. In order for you to be charged with felony child endangerment, your case must meet certain criteria.

How is child endangerment defined in New York?

New York’s criminal code defines endangering the welfare of children the following way: Any person supervising the welfare of a child 16 years old or under, be it a guardian, a parent or any other person, who violates duty of protection, support or care and thus knowingly endangers the child’s welfare is guilty of child endangerment. This also applies to any person who supervises or employs someone in charge of a child’s welfare. Examples of child endangerment are as follows:

  • DUI with a child in the car
  • Squalid home environment
  • Doing illegal drugs in a child’s presence, or possessing illegal drugs in a child’s presence
  • Not getting medical attention for a sick or injured child
  • Allowing a child to ride, without safety restraint of some kind, on the back of an ATV or other open-air motor vehicle
  • A fight with a spouse that accidentally injures a child
  • Leaving a child unattended in a vehicle

How can I fight child endangerment charges?

A skilled Rockland County criminal defense attorney will argue that the child in question was not in imminent danger, you don’t fall in the category of parent, guardian or caregiver and, in the case of a newborn, you delivered the child to a safe haven. When taken out of context, any action seems suspicious or even criminal. You need quality legal representation to fight for you and your future.


Kevin T. Conway has over 30 years of experience as a Spring Valley criminal attorney handling DUI, DWI, traffic violations, violent crimes, sex crimes, illegal gun possession, shoplifting, and juvenile crimes. Attorney Conway is also experienced in commercial law matters, zoning law, and estate planning. If you need a Rockland County criminal lawyer, contact our Spring Valley office for a free consultation.

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