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Endangerment of a Child - Utah Criminal Lawyer

Under Utah criminal law, endangerment of a child is serious felony charge that can result in a lengthy prison term and thousands of dollars in fines. Utah criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard defends clients charged with child endangerment and other criminal charges throughout Utah. He has a track record that includes not guilty verdicts, dismissals, and appellate reversals on some of the most serious felony and misdemeanor criminal charges on the books in Utah. If you are facing criminal charges for endangerment of a child, you need an experienced Utah criminal defense lawyer on your side.

(Note that the term "child endangerment" more technically refers investigations of endangerment or neglect involving DCFS. However, as used on this page, the term refers to prosecutions for "endangerment of a child" under Utah Code 76-5-112.5.)

Elements of a Child Endangerment Case in Utah

A typical child endangerment charge under Utah criminal law involves allegations that a person used or possessed drugs or paraphernalia under circumstances where a child was exposed to or had the potential to become exposed to the drugs. The term "exposed" is broadly defined, and includes more than just actual contact with drugs or paraphernalia. "Exposed" also includes circumstances under which a child is able to see or has the ability to access drugs, or has the "reasonable capacity" to access paraphernalia. Child endangerment also includes situations where a child inhales, ingests, or otherwise has contact with drugs or drug paraphernalia.

Consequences of a Child Endangerment Conviction in Utah

At it's lowest level, child endangerment is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine and surcharge of $9,500. Under Utah criminal law, child endangerment becomes a second degree felony if the child is in some way injured as a result of contact or exposure to drugs or paraphernalia. A second degree felony has a maximum sentence of up to 15 years in prison and a fine and surcharge of $19,000. If a child dies as a result of exposure or contact with drugs, the charge can be filed as a first degree felony punishable by up to life in prison.

Accompanying Criminal Charges in Utah

Because a child endangerment charge in Utah requires allegations involving drugs or paraphernalia, a prosecuting attorney will commonly file drug-related charges along with a child endangerment charge. In addition to a charge of child endangerment, you may also face additional charges for possession of a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia. These additional charges can mean additional time in jail or prison and even higher fines.

Finding a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Salt Lake City, Utah

The consequences of a criminal conviction can be serious. An experienced Utah criminal defense lawyer can help ensure that your rights are protected. If you are facing prosecution for child endangerment or other criminal charges, contact us now to schedule an initial consultation with Salt Lake criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard.


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Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
560 South 300 East, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

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