If you’ve been charged with child endangerment, it is important to understand the elements of this charge and possible consequences. You will want to act as quickly as possible and hire an experienced military defense lawyer who can protect you at every step of the way.
Child Endangerment Defined
As defined by Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), a service member can be charged with child endangerment if he or she endangered the safety, welfare, and physical or mental health of a child aged 16 years or younger, who the service member had a duty to take care of.
There are several elements that must be proven before the accused is found guilty of child endangerment, including:
- The accused had a duty to care for the child
- The victim was aged 16 years or younger
- The accused endangered the victim’s safety, welfare, and physical or mental health either with intention or a culpably negligent act
- The accused’s actions resulted in harm or serious bodily harm to the victim
- The accused’s conduct disturbed the good order and discipline in a community of the armed forces
Possible Consequences of a Child Endangerment Conviction
A service member who is accused of child endangerment can only be convicted if he or she had a duty of care toward the alleged victim.
If the service member is convicted of child endangerment, he or she could face a maximum of five to eight years of confinement depending on whether he or she intended to cause harm to the victim. Bodily harm that is a result of culpable negligence could result in two to three years of confinement.
As a service member, you could also be demoted in rank, discharged, or forced to forfeit pay and rewards if convicted of child endangerment.
How We Can Help
If you have been charged with child endangerment, it is in your best interest to begin an aggressively defending your rights and reputation as quickly as possible.
Garrison Wood is an experienced military defense attorney who knows how to defend his clients in accordance with the UCMJ. To start fighting back against these charges, contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.
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