Child Endangerment

Crimes involving children always carry harsh penalties. A child endangerment charge is no exception. You could face steep fines and even possible incarceration. The state attorney in Ohio has little to no sympathy for people charged with crimes involving minors. It’s likely they will do anything in their power to prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.

If you or someone you know has been charged with child endangerment, it’s crucial you have legal representation on your side. An accomplished attorney can assess your case to help you uncover all your legal options. They can help you avoid the statutory penalties, which can include losing custody of your children.

Dayton Lawyer for Child Endangerment in Ohio

As a parent or guardian, you are entrusted with your child’s health and safety. Gross neglect or putting your child in a dangerous situation can result in criminal charges. In some cases, a child endangerment charge arises from a simple misunderstanding. Despite this, you could still be convicted with child endangerment and risk losing your children and freedom. 

If you have been accused of child endangerment, we recommend you contact Joslyn Law Firm. The criminal defense lawyers at Joslyn Law Firm understand the ramifications of child abuse accusations. We want to preserve your reputation as well as your freedom by providing quality representation. Call us now at (937) 356-3969 to set up a free consultation.

Joslyn Law Firm accepts clients throughout the greater Montgomery County area including Dayton, Vandalia, Miamisburg, and Brookville.

Overview of Child Endangerment in Ohio 


Duties of a Parent or Guardian in Ohio

Similar to most states, Ohio has a set of laws for parents, custodians or guardians to follow when raising their children. Ohio parents must provide protection, emotional support and financial support when raising a child. Under Ohio law a child is any minor under the age of eighteen.  It can also include physically or mentally handicapped children under the age of 21. 

It’s illegal in Ohio to create a substantial risk to the health or safety of your child by violating your duty to care, support or protect. This can range from intentionally abusing your child to leaving them abandoned in a hot car. It’s important to note that treating a sick child through spiritual means or prayer alone by a recognized religious group isn’t considered child endangerment in Ohio. 


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Child Endangerment Laws in Ohio

Intentionally or knowingly putting your child in substantial risk is a crime in Ohio. According to the Ohio Revised Code section 2919.22(B), you are prohibited from:

  • Abusing your child;
  • Torturing or cruelly abusing your child;
  • Administer corporal punishment, restraint or a physical disciplinary measure to your child in a cruel manner for a long period of time that could pose a serious harm;
  • Frequently administer unnecessary discipline measures that could seriously impair or hinder the child’s mental or physical development;
  • Coerce, permit, compel, hire, use or allow the child to act, pose, model or participate in any way with a production of material that is obscene or sexually oriented; or
  • Allow a child to be within 100 feet of or on a property where drug trafficking or manufacturing is taking place 

It’s important to know that mistake of age is not a defense to child endangerment if the minor was involved in a sexually-oriented or obscene production or performance. 


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Penalties for Endangering Your Child in Ohio

The penalties for child endangerment heavily rely on the circumstances of the case. Putting your child in a situation where there is substantial risk is a first-degree misdemeanor.  The consequences of a first-degree misdemeanor include:

  • Up to 180 days in jail; and
  • A fine of up to $1,000

If you have a prior conviction related to the neglect, abuse, abandonment or contributing to a child’s delinquency, then it’s a fourth-degree felony. The penalties for a fourth-degree felony in Ohio include:

  • Up to 12 months in prison; and
  • A possible fine of up to $5,000

If the child endangerment results in your cold being seriously injured, then the crime is enhanced to a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony is punishable by:

  • Up to 5 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000

The crime is elevated to a second-degree felony if you abused the child and it resulted in serious physical harm. A second-degree felony can result in: 

  • Up to 8 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $15,000

Additional Resources

Prevent Child Abuse: Ohio Chapter – Visit the official website for the Ohio chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America, a non-profit charity dedicated to preventing child abuse and neglect. Access their site to read their blog, parenting tips and how to get involved with the cause. 

Ohio’s Child Endangerment Laws – Visit the official website for Ohio Rules and Regulations to learn more about their child abuse and endangerment laws. Access the site to learn the legal definitions for abuse as well as the penalties for neglecting or harming your child. 


Lawyer for Child Endangerment in Montgomery County, OH

Have you been accused of neglect or abuse of your child? Are you concerned over losing custody? If so, we recommend you gain trusted legal representation as soon as possible. Child endangerment penalties in Ohio are incredibly serious and you could lose guardianship as well as face expensive fines and prison time.

Stay informed and protect yourself with Joslyn Law Firm. Our attorneys understand how a child endangerment accusation can condemn you professional and personally. That is why we will do whatever it takes to provide excellent quality legal service to you. Call us now at (937) 356-3969 to set up a free consultation. 

Joslyn Law Firm represents people accused of domestic violence crimes throughout the Dayton area including Miamisburg, Oakwood, Englewood, West Carrollton and Miamisburg. 


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This article was updated on July 25, 2019.

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