scared child with backpackThis is the next post in my series on the handling of child endangerment charges in Peoria and other Illinois areas. My last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. It also stressed the need to speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if you or a family member have been arrested. It is important that you speak with counsel so that they can take immediate steps to protect your rights. In this article I will discuss whether Illinois treats such matters as a misdemeanor or a felony. If you require assistance then contact us today to speak with a lawyer.

First Offense Child Endangerment Is A Class “A” Misdemeanor In Illinois

Illinois will typically charge a first offense for child endangerment as a Class “A” misdemeanor. This means that a conviction can carry a penalty of up to just under one year (364 days to be precise) in jail and a potential fine of $2,500. An individual who is convicted for a first offense will also be eligible for probation. If a defendant receives probation then the Court will issue a sentence but the individual will not serve time as long as they follow the terms of their supervision. Once they have successfully completed probation then the case will be closed. If an individual violates the terms of their supervision, however, then they may be required to serve the sentence which was originally issued by the judge.

There are also instances in which a first offense for child endangerment can be charged as a felony. These include repeat offenses, which will automatically be charged as a Class “3” felony. Also, if the endangerment results in the death of a child then the accused individual will face felony charges. These instances mean that a conviction will carry a potential prison sentence. Furthermore, a felony conviction can have serious repercussions on one’s future.

Illinois prosecutors may “stack” additional counts on top of a child endangerment charge

It is important for a defendant to understand that several different criminal charges can stem from one chain of events. This is also true when it comes to child endangerment charges. Suppose, for example, that a parent is pulled over for drunk driving and their child is in the car. The parent, scared about the situation, attempts to give a fake name to the police officer. The parent, under this scenario, may be arrested for DUI, giving false information to law enforcement, and for child endangerment. All of these charges would be stacked together into one criminal complaint. If convicted, the parent would face serious consequences.

If you or a family member have been arrested for child endangerment then it is important that you retain an attorney immediately. Counsel can take several steps to ensure that your rights are protected. I am a former prosecutor who understands the workings of our local court system. I believe that everyone is entitled to aggressive representation and my office is ready to assist you. Contact us online or by telephone to speak with a Peoria criminal defense lawyer. I also serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford.