There are several different offenses in New York’s criminal code drafted to punish those who abuse children. Such crimes include reckless assault of a child, aggravated assaulted upon a person less than eleven, and reckless assault of a child by a child day care provider. In addition, if you do not take measures to prevent a child from being abused, you may be charged with endangering the welfare of a child.
Reckless assault of a child
Reckless assault of a child is the “shaken baby syndrome” offense. The prosecutor will charge you with this crime if you are at least 18 years old and abuse a child who is under 5 years old by shaking, slamming or throwing the child, and as a result the child suffers a serious brain injury. N.Y. Pen. Law §§ 10.00(10) and 120.02. It is a Class D felony and carries a possible prison sentence of up to 7 years.
Aggravated assault upon a person less than eleven
If you are an adult, meaning that you are at least 18 years old, you assault a child who is less than 11 years old, and within the prior 3 years you have been convicted of assaulting a child who was less than 11 years old. It is a Class E felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 120.12. The prior conviction must have been for assault in the third degree.
Reckless assault of a child by a child day care provider
If you regularly care for a child at place other than the child’s residence and you recklessly cause serious physical injury to a child who is under 11 years old, then the charge you will face is reckless assault of a child by a child day care provider. It is a Class E felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 120.01. Unlike the similar crime of reckless assault of a child that requires that the injury be a serious brain injury that is due to shaking, slamming or throwing the child, reckless assault of a child by a child day care provider only requires that the child suffer a serious physical injury. A serious physical injury is one that creates a substantial risk of death, that causes death, or that causes serious disfigurement or impairment. N.Y. Pen. Law § 10.00(10).
Other child assault charges
Keep in mind that even if the facts of an assault case do not fit an assault offense that specifically focuses on a victim who is a child, if you abuse a child you can still be charged with one of several other assault charges such as assault in the first, second or third degree. Furthermore, if you sexually abuse a child, there are several sex crimes with which you could be charged.
Being charged with abusing child is serious. In addition, child abuse cases are complicated often turning on fuzzy evidentiary issues and testimony of a frightened child. Thus, if you have been charged with a crime related to child abuse it is critical that you contact an experience New York child abuse attorney who will review the facts of your case and vigorously defend you until your case has been resolved.