Under Omaha City ordinances, a person commits caretaker neglect if he or she places a minor in a situation that endangers his or her life, physical health, or mental health. For instance, leaving a child under the age of seven in a vehicle unattended.
If you are facing accusations of caretaker neglect, contact an Omaha child endangerment lawyer. Let a criminal defense attorney from Berry Law fight your risk of injury to a minor charge.
Actions that Constitute Risk of Injury to a Minor
Whether someone is charged with child endangerment varies on the given situation and the behavior of the accused. For example, a parent who keeps an unreasonably dirty house could be charged with child endangerment.
Additionally, if a child is present during a domestic violence situation, the parents could be prosecuted for placing their child at risk of injury. Other reasons for caretaker neglect include a minor being deprived of necessary food, clothing, shelter, care, or being cruelly confined or punished.
The law also contains a provision which states that if a child under the age of eight has access to a match, lighter, flammable liquid, fireworks, explosives, or similar material which is known to start fires, the caretaker for that child could be charged with neglect. Any situation involving excessive discipline, inadequate meals, or insufficient bathing could lead to criminal charges. In cases such as these, you should reach out to an aggressive lawyer who can fight your child endangerment charges.
Leaving an Unattended Child in a Vehicle
There is a specific provision which states that if a child is left unattended in a car without a person who is 11 years of age or older, then the responsible adult could be charged with child neglect. Local criminal courts are especially keen on prosecuting cases in which kids are left in a car unattended.
Typically, the penalty for leaving an unattended child in a vehicle is up to six months in jail, a $500 fine, or both. If the injury to the child is substantial, then the parent or caretaker could face felony charges with potential prison time.
Classifying Child Endangerment Offenses
In Nebraska, the severity of a child endangerment charge depends on whether you acted intentionally or negligently and whether your actions led to serious bodily injury. According to Nebraska Revised State § 28-707, risk of injury to a minor is a classified as a Class I misdemeanor if the defendant acted negligently and the child did not suffer serious bodily injuries.
This crime is a Class IIIA felony if the accused acted knowingly, or the act resulted in serious bodily injury to the child. An individual could be charged with a Class II felony if he or she acted intentionally, and the incident resulted in a serious injury.
If the child died due to the defendant’s actions, it is considered either a Class IIA or Class IB felony. The accused would face the more severe Class IB felony charge if he or she acted knowingly and intentionally. If you need help assessing the severity of your charges, speak with a lawyer who understands the child endangerment laws in Omaha.
Potential Penalties Associated with Risk of Injury to a Minor
The penalties associated with risk of injury to a minor charges in Omaha include:
- Prison time
- Jail time
- Possible inclusion on a child neglect registry
- Effects on employment prospects
Additionally, a person tried in court could potentially lose his or her parental rights for failure to comply with the plan to rehabilitate his or her relationship with his or her children. If the injuries are severe, the State could file to terminate parental rights.
Berry Law’s Team Provides You With Multiple Attorney Perspectives
Contact an Omaha Child Endangerment Attorney Today
The biggest reason to retain legal representation is that child endangerment cases are prosecuted more harshly than typical assault cases. There are steps you can take to minimize the damage associated with these charges. Let a lawyer from Berry Law go to battle for you. Call our team today to see how we can help you fight your child endangerment charges in Omaha.