Address 1200 Harger Road, Suite 706, Oak Brook, IL 60523
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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.

DuPage County Child Endangerment Defense Lawyer

Westmont Child Endangerment Lawyer

Law Firm Representing Clients Accused of Child Neglect in Westmont and Lombard Areas

The welfare of children is taken very seriously in Illinois, and any threat to a child's well-being can result in serious punishment. However, people sometimes make mistakes, and parents, relatives, or other caregivers can be accused of child endangerment without all of the facts of a situation being known. If the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has become involved in your life due to a report of child endangerment or neglect, you should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

At Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C., we understand the disruption that allegations of child endangerment can cause great distress to your family, and we will work with you to gather facts about the situation, represent you in DCFS investigations and court proceedings, and help your family reach a positive resolution in your case.

Child Endangerment Under Illinois Law

Illinois statutes state that a person commits child endangerment when they cause or permit the life or health of a child under the age of 18 to be in danger, or when they cause or permit a child to be placed in a situation that endangers their life or health. One specific type of child endangerment that the law describes is leaving a child under the age of six unattended in a vehicle for more than 10 minutes.

In addition to child endangerment, Illinois law also defines child abandonment, which occurs when someone responsible for the care of a child under the age of 13 leaves the child without supervision by a responsible person over the age of 14 for more than 24 hours.

Child endangerment is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois for a first offense, and a Class 3 felony for a second or subsequent offense or if the endangerment resulted in the death of a child. Child abandonment is a Class 4 felony for a first offense and a Class 3 felony for a second or subsequent offense. Parents found guilty of child endangerment or child abandonment may be eligible for probation.

DCFS Investigations

When a parent or caregiver is suspected of child endangerment and a report of possible child abuse or neglect is made to DCFS, an investigation will be conducted to determine whether steps need to be taken to protect a child's safety. During an investigation, DCFS may interview the child, the person who allegedly endangered the child, and any other witnesses, such as friends, family members, or teachers.

If DCFS believes a child is in immediate danger during the investigation, it can take steps to have the child removed from their parents' custody, or it may recommend a safety plan that restricts contact between the child and the person who allegedly committed acts of child endangerment.

A DCFS investigation must be completed within 60 days, and investigators will decide whether the allegations are "indicated" or "unfounded." A finding of "indicated" means that there is evidence that child abuse or neglect took place, and DCFS will recommend certain actions, such as counseling or treatment for substance abuse. An "indicated" finding can be used as probable cause for criminal charges of child endangerment or child abuse or neglect.

Contact a DuPage County Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been accused of child endangerment and are being investigated by DCFS, you should contact an experienced attorney who can ensure that your rights are protected and help you reach a positive outcome that protects your family's best interests. Contact an Elmhurst criminal defense lawyer today at 630-472-9700 to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients in Downers Grove, Hinsdale, Burr Ridge, Willowbrook, and surrounding areas.

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