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How is Child Abuse Charged in Minnesota?

Child abuse charges carry serious penalties. They can also expose a defendant to collateral consequences that can affect the rest of his or her life. This is why it is so important to get the advice of a Woodbury domestic abuse lawyer any time you are facing charges related to domestic violence. Attorney Justin Schiks has helped protect many defendants’ constitutional rights throughout the criminal case process. He is an experienced Woodbury domestic violence attorney, and he can help advise you on the best way to resolve the charges against you. Call (651) 986-9652 today to schedule a consultation.

Neglect and endangerment under Minnesota law

Section 609.378 of the Minnesota statutes define child abuse as either neglect or endangerment. Neglect is:

  • A parent, legal guardian or caretaker
  • who willfully deprives a child of necessary food, clothing, shelter, health care, or supervision appropriate to the child’s age
  • when that person is reasonably able to make the necessary provisions, and
  • the deprivation harms or is likely to substantially harm the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health.

Neglect can also occur when a parent, legal guardian, or caregiver knowingly permits the continuing physical or sexual abuse of a child. Neglect can be punished by up to one year of imprisonment, a $3000 fine, or both.

Child endangerment occurs when:

  • A parent, legal guardian or caregiver
  • endangers the child’s person or health by
  •  intentionally or recklessly causing or permitting a child to be placed in a situation likely to substantially harm the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health or cause the child’s death; or
  • knowingly causing or permitting the child to be present where any person is selling, manufacturing, possessing immediate precursors or chemical substances with intent to manufacture, or possessing a controlled substance.

Child endangerment can be punished by up to one year in prison, a fine of $3000 or both.

The collateral consequences of a child abuse conviction

Jail time and fines are not the only consequences a defendant must face after a child abuse conviction. A conviction can also affect your rights in the family court. Parents who are convicted of child abuse can lose custody of their own children, or have their parenting rights severely restricting. A child abuse conviction can also prevent you from obtaining security clearance at both the state and federal level. Finally, a child abuse conviction will make you ineligible for certain types of employment. School districts, daycare centers, and many other employees are unlikely to hire anyone with a prior conviction of child neglect or endangerment.

For all these reasons, it is important to fight child abuse charges. There are many different ways for a case to be resolved without leaving a conviction for abuse or neglect on the defendant’s record. It is important to consult with an experienced child abuse lawyer about your options before pleading guilty or going to trial on child abuse charges.

The right attorney for any Woodbury child abuse changes

Don’t fight child abuse charges alone. Attorney Justin Schiks is an experienced Woodbury domestic violence attorney, and he can help protect your constitutional rights. Call (651) 986-9652 today to schedule a consultation.

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