Risk of Injury to a Minor in Maryland
There are some laws that would include regulating behavior that would constitute a risk of injury to a minor in Maryland. People can be charged with reckless endangerment in these circumstances, which is essentially behaving in such a negligent way that they place another individual in danger.
Most people are very familiar with the laws regarding DUI and understand that they cannot drive or intend to drive the vehicle if they are under the influence of alcohol, however, there is a subsection referring to transporting a minor.
If you are facing a charge related to the risk of injury to a minor in Maryland, contact an attorney immediately. A domestic violence lawyer in Maryland can build a case to help reduce or dismiss any potential consequences you may be facing.
Risk of Injury During a DUI
There is a completely separate subsection from a DUI that relates to driving under the influence and doing it while transporting a minor.
The penalty for that is much higher than a standard DUI. It is a completely separate violation of the DUI laws to be driving under the influence when transporting a minor.
There is also a separate subtitle under the criminal law that deals with not just child abuse, but any sort of offensive conduct or neglect of a minor child. For example, specifically, it would be illegal for a parent or a family member to neglect the child. The definition of what it means to neglect is an intentional failure to give that child the necessary assistance that they need.
Not meeting the child’s physical needs or not addressing the child’s mental health needs to the point that it creates a substantial risk of harm to the child is a totally separate offense under Maryland law. That law carries a maximum penalty of five years and/or a fine of not more than $5,000.
Essentially, neglect means failing to do something that the person is obligated to do. If the person fails to provide for the physical needs of a child so that they are not getting fed or they are not getting medications that they might need, then the person is risking injury to that child in Maryland.
Another word that the person will hear in place of neglect is abuse. Anytime that there is behavior that would be considered neglectful or endangering the health or welfare of the child is going to be synonymous with the risk of injury to a minor in Maryland.
Alleging the Crime
There are many typical fact patterns that may lead an individual to be alleged of inflicting risk upon a minor in Maryland. These include if someone becomes aware that a child is not being fed, is not receiving medications that are required, is under developed, is very underweight, or has not been seen by a pediatrician on any sort of regular basis to the point where it has endangered their health and wellbeing.
Those are the sorts of circumstances that would equate to a risk of injury of a minor in Maryland. It is also important to understand that both the laws specifically say that neglect does not include the failure to do these things if the failure is due solely to a lack of financial resources or if because the person responsible for the child has found themselves to be homeless.
That is not going to rise to the level of a criminal act of neglect of a minor in Maryland. This statute is specifically trying to address intentionally withholding those things from a child. It is not because they cannot provide, it is that they have the resources to do so and they are making a conscious choice to not care for the child to the point where it is now negligently impacting the child’s physical or mental health.