A Jackson County man is facing charges after venomous, deadly snakes were found in the home that he shares with his child and mother. The deputies reported to the home after being tipped off about drug activity. Instead of drugs they found a room full of snakes. Some of the snakes’ cages were located near the baby’s crib.
The Department of Family and Child Services was notified because of the dangerous situation and the snakes were seized, including two gaboon vipers and one cobra. They are illegal to own without proper permits, which the man did not have.
What is Child Endangerment?
Child endangerment charges are designed to discourage any conduct by parents or other caregivers that might lead to the harm or injury of a child. The first component of these charges is proof that there was a relationship between the defendant and the child. A defendant must be someone who has accepted responsibility for the child by exercising control, care, and custody over the child.
The second component is an omission or act by the defendant. When we think of child endangerment, we generally think of it as someone placing a child in a bad situation, such as leaving a child in a hot car alone during the summer. However, child endangerment can also be omissions, or things that the caregiver fails to do. This may include things like failing to give a child medication if the child has a life-threatening medical condition.
In addition, some states have presumptive child endangerment charges. This is when, for example, someone has something dangerous around a child such as drugs. The law will presume that the child was in danger without having any other proof, and it is the defendant who must disprove the presumption.
Punishment for Child Endangerment
There are two types of consequences that could arise out of child endangerment charges. The first is criminal punishment. This could include up to 20 years in prison depending on the nature of the charges and whether the charge is a misdemeanor or a felony. With each charge, the punishment increases. Consequences may also include counseling, parenting classes, or restricted access to the child.
The second consequence relates to how the defendant is related to the child. In some situations, the state may determine that the parental rights of the parent to the child should be terminated or restricted.
Seek Representation from a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney
Child endangerment is a serious criminal charge and should never be taken lightly. If you are involved in a child endangerment case and are already involved in a custody dispute or have been involved in one recently, your charges could result in even more serious penalties. That makes it imperative that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.
The attorneys at Lankford & Moore Law have experience in family and criminal law and can help ensure that your criminal charges do not result in long-term issues with child custody or criminal consequences. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation and let us help ensure that your rights are protected.