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  1. #1

    Default What Are the Elements and Defenses of Child Endangerment

    My question involves child abuse or neglect in the State of: KS

    Will give a brief summary as it is needed. A woman and mother of 3 children that I know took her kids to a movie along with 2 of her friends and their children. One of her children is 2yo and was having a melt down and I guess in his fit hit his head on something. Mom then removed the child from the theater. I guess another woman decided to be special and call the police citing that she saw the child hit their head (self inflicted) and mom did not seem "worried enough".....

    the woman is an RN and nurse educator but of course these nosy folks never actually know the facts. So when police arrived, the mother was holding her 2yo and they proceeded to separate her from her child and her child had a complete meltdown over it. The mother became pretty combative because they could not control her son and EVEN LOST THE CHILD IN THE PARKING LOT and other people had to help corral the child. The mother was, IMO, rightly pissed off.

    THE ISSUE - The mother and one of the other parents were consuming alcohol at the theater and it was smelled by cops. For whatever (not a good idea) reason, volunteered to take a PBT, in which she blew over a .10. She was not driving, did have a sober parent with her party, but they arrested her for endangerment. I can only conclude that they arrested ONLY because of the alcohol because they certainly don't have useful evidence against her regarding a head injury.

    EMTs showed up to "check the well being of the child" and concluded on scene that the child didn't have so much as a red mark, bump, nothing, and was 100% fine, and they were NOT impressed with the police tactics here.

    i already told her that her outbursts likely caused this outcome BUT I agree and believe any normal jury would agree that you force separation between a young child and their parent for nonsense BS, I think any parent is going to have issue, especially when you can see that officers cannot properly care for the child and keep them safe.

    I have advised her to go to her first appearance and see what the prosecutor does. Knowing how things are today, it would not shock me to see them try to ride the full charge thinking they are "doing something good for the world", but there is also a chance the prosecutor is a little smarter than the officers and can see this case as complete BS.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What Are the Elements and Defenses of Child Endangerment

    I think you, from the outside here, are thinking you are a little smarter than the officers, and everyone else in the situation though you may not have all the facts. I would suggest that you tell your friend the mother to get good legal counsel from someone other than yourself and follow their suggestions in every way. You seem a bit too over-involved, based and argumentative to help her. If she takes even a smidgen of your attitude into court with her, I don't care if she is a brain surgeon and an expert on head trauma, she's not going to do well.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What Are the Elements and Defenses of Child Endangerment

    People who are intoxicated tend to have worse outbursts and the fact she couldn’t control herself helps support the charge of endangerment. The fact she became combative is really problematic

    As the other poster stated: your friend needs to stop listening to you and start listening to the lawyer she should be hiring.

    Do you even know what constitutes endangerment?
    21-5429. Endangerment.
    (a) Endangerment is recklessly exposing another person to a danger of great bodily harm or death.


    (b) Endangerment is a class A person misdemeanor.


    (c) This section shall be part of and supplemental to the Kansas criminal code.
    Is she guilty of the charge? I suspect not, at least based on what you’ve stated but she needs to take this seriously and stop listening to you.

  4. #4

    Default Re: What Are the Elements and Defenses of Child Endangerment

    I don't think there is any question about the mistake in judgement here. I am sure I would lose count of how many go to ball games with their kids and drink beer. World is full of bad people.....lol

    It sounds like this is just going to be a shaming and "get an atty" thread? Does the shaming stop when the check is written?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What Are the Elements and Defenses of Child Endangerment

    "I guess another woman decided to be special and call the police citing that she saw the child hit their head (self inflicted) and mom did not seem "worried enough"....."

    It is not shaming but is cold good sense to realize that you may not have all the facts here. What if this person who "decided to be special" and call the police was also making a cell phone video of the incident which shows your friend was far more out of line than her even slightly alcohol hazed perception of the incident indicates? What does your aside that people are allowed to drink beer at ball parks have to do with it? (Lol) This isn't a "no big deal," no matter how much you try to dismiss it.

    While you may choose to reframe everything that you believe to have occurred in your friend's defense, which you certainly are doing, you cannot, and she cannot assume that prosecutors or EMTs or "other parents" or heaven help, a jury are going to respond to her behavior as described by the police and other witnesses with the indignant defensive acceptance that you are showing and passing on to her.

    She needs to take this very seriously, and she needs to assume that as in so many cases these days, there is likely a video record of exactly what went down. Yet you came here to be reassured it was nothing and that any right minded third party would see it all your way.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What Are the Elements and Defenses of Child Endangerment

    Quote Quoting bcr229
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    If you were not there then the only advise you should have given your friend was to lawyer up and shut up.
    Absolutely. Now op could be used as a witness against the defendant if they told op anything incriminating. Jailhouse confessions have convicted many people that would otherwise been free.

  7. #7

    Default Re: What Are the Elements and Defenses of Child Endangerment

    I don't know why people are automatically assuming I am down playing the events, but yes, I am explaining it EXACTLY as I was told, thats all I have. However, I am not ignorant to the law or system and I did ask her many questions only trying to conclude how screwed she was, or even why they would have arrested her. The woman that reported it did not video the situation. There was also a theater FULL of parents, yet there is ONLY ONE person as a witness? That seems odd......

    In any case, I was simply trying to understand the elements here because endangerment requires one to actually put another "in danger", and a child that accidentally hits their head doesn't even fit the crime. I told her if things get shitty with the courts, you may wish to subpoena the EMTs because they gave officers an immediate, 3rd party examination of the child that determined on the spot there was no sign of a real injury.


    I really do feel the mother got herself in hot water purely by her acting out. I think any parent would be pissed, but that might equal some other charge like disorderly, not endangerment.

    I just want to know if or how the alcohol played into this? It has been argued in higher courts for decades that "assuming" someone does or did anything because of alcohol is purely a WAG. It affects people differently. And in this case, it would seem she "failed to do something" because of alcohol?

    The reality is if they are going to try to say she "failed to seek medical attention for the child", we all know they have no case because the child has no injury. I see kids bite it HARD at the baseball field, but I never see an ambulance show up. I would think if the child actually sustained real injury and she did not act on it, that "might" be different, but in this case, I know for sure the child was checked, cleared, and sent home with family. If there was even a tiny concern from EMTs, they would have taken the child to the hospital for further testing.


    It is interesting how no one has even taken notice of the cops losing a 2yo child in a busy parking lot.... You can bet I would be grade A pissed. Those cops "endangered" that child way more. the fact that other parents had to help find the child is pathetic and I told the mother I am sure those witness names are gone because cops are real good about rinsing their hands of their own dirty work.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What Are the Elements and Defenses of Child Endangerment

    You have no way of knowing what actually happened. You were not there.
    .

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What Are the Elements and Defenses of Child Endangerment

    Your recitation of exactly what you were told is a retelling of the mother’s version of the events. Not only do people tend to tell stories that present them in the best light, given she was pretty toasted, what she remembers happening may be a very distorted version of the true facts.

    How do you know there is only one witness to the incident (and since when does it require more than one?)? She may be the only one that called the police but it’s quite likely there are more witnesses. If this goes very far, she may discover there are a lot of wotnesss to the incident. Even if the woman that called the police was the only person interviewed that night, that still doesn’t mean she is the only witness.

    Until the basis of the charge is known, nobody will know what the police determined to be the danger to the child was. Yes, the child hitting their head could be the necessary exposure. You can die from some seemingly innocuous head injuries. A lot would depend on the facts surrounding the head issue.
    I really do feel the mother got herself in hot water purely by her acting out. I think any parent would be pissed, but that might equal some other charge like disorderly, not endangerment.
    that’s possible. Becoming combative can support the police’ contention that she was not in a condition to care for her child which since the drinking was willful, it can be considered recklessness.

    I she was intoxcated to the point it caused her to expose her child to great bodily harm, it could fulfill the requirement of recklessness. It depends on her actual condition and so many facts we don’t have.
    The reality is if they are going to try to say she "failed to seek medical attention for the child", we all know they have no case because the child has no injury. I see kids bite it HARD at the baseball field, but I never see an ambulance show up. I would think if the child actually sustained real injury and she did not act on it, that "might" be different, but in this case, I know for sure the child was checked, cleared, and sent home with family. If there was even a tiny concern from EMTs, they would have taken the child to the hospital for further testing.
    the reality is you nor I have any real idea why they cited her for what they did. You need to understand the statute charged doesn’t require actual injury to the child. It requires recklessly exposing a person to danger that could result in great bodily harm or death. Since we don’t know what specific action the cops believe warranted the charge, there is nothing to,say about whether the charges are valid or not. Failure to seek medical care could be the basis of the charge but based on your rendition of the facts, that doesn’t seem to be sustainable, unless she was intoxicated to such a degree that the police believed that was the reckless act, but there still needs to be the component of the child being actually exposed to the possibility of great bodily harm. Would the issue in the theatre fulfill that requirement? Don’t know. Maybe, maybe not. Facts matter and we have none.
    It is interesting how no one has even taken notice of the cops losing a 2yo child in a busy parking lot.... You can bet I would be grade A pissed. Those cops "endangered" that child way more. the fact that other parents had to help find the child is pathetic and I told the mother I am sure those witness names are gone because cops are real good about rinsing their hands of their own dirty work.
    i took notice but since it has nothing to do with the question you asked, I found no reason to address it.

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    Default Re: What Are the Elements and Defenses of Child Endangerment

    Quote Quoting fastline
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    I am not here to have an argument about that but it certainly is insinuated by most attorneys that unless you "have a law license", you most certainly cannot "reed and rite gud". I can read books like anyone else, and my higher education seems to indicate I am capable "figuring it out". I just like to know and learn things. But people now seem to think that means I am going to control her court case?
    You stated in your original post "I have advised her to go to her first appearance and see what the prosecutor does. Knowing how things are today, it would not shock me to see them try to ride the full charge thinking they are "doing something good for the world", but there is also a chance the prosecutor is a little smarter than the officers and can see this case as complete BS."

    You are giving her legal advice when you shouldn't be. Not because anybody thinks you can't "reed and rite", but because you aren't an attorney. You never show up to a hearing and just see what the other side does. She show up, with counsel, ready to state your case.

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