Any criminal accusation is a cause for great concern. However, when the alleged victim of a crime is a child that is under custody of the defendant, the problems quickly become magnified.
Washington DC’s criminal courts have the authority to transfer criminal cases to Washington’s family courts for a hearing on whether a defendant is a continuing risk to the child. A guilty finding in the family court can result in a parent’s visitation rights being terminated or even a total loss of custody.
It is essential that parents and guardians of minor children be prepared to defend themselves in court. Hiring a Washington DC child endangerment lawyer could be a strong first step. A persistent attorney could work to investigate the incident, talk with prosecutors, and argue cases in both criminal and family courts.
Almost any type of criminal accusation can lead to a child neglect case. It is not the type of the criminal accusation so much as it is the alleged target of that violence that classifies the case as one involving child endangerment.
DC’s code requires criminal courts to transfer cases to family courts whenever the alleged victim of a crime is a child. It does not matter if the defendant and the alleged victim are related, this transfer is automatic.
Common examples of crimes against children that can trigger these cases include:
No matter the type of child endangerment charge that a defendant is facing, a Washington DC attorney could help someone accused defend their rights in both criminal and family courts.
DC Code §16-2302 states that as soon as a primary criminal court identifies the defendant’s alleged victim in the case as a minor child that the case is to be transferred to the Division. This Division takes the lead in prosecuting charges in DC Superior Courts concerning where the child should live during the life of the case.
If the child is not related to the defendant in the case, it is likely that the child will remain at home. However, when the alleged victim and the defendant are related, this can result in the child being sent to live with other family members or even placed into foster care.
If the court eventually convicts the defendant, these changes can become permanent. This is in addition to any potential criminal penalties that accompany a conviction for the underlying criminal charge. As such, a strong attorney creating a powerful defense in Washington DC child safety cases is extremely important.
Criminal charges in Washington DC’s criminal courts are always serious matters. A conviction for any criminal offense can result in the payment of stiff fines, a sentence of jail time, and the creation of a criminal record.
However, the penalties for a child endangerment conviction can be doubly harsh. This is because the mere accusation of a crime against a child can result in that child being taken from the custody of the defendant. If the court convicts the defendant on that charge, the removal may become permanent.
A Washington DC child endangerment lawyer is dedicated to preventing this from happening. Their goals are to protect the freedoms of their clients while maintaining their familial structure. Contact an attorney today to see if they can help you.
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