Published July 01, 2020
Child endangerment is a serious offense not only in the court of law but also in the community. In Ohio, these laws fall under Section 2919.22 of the Ohio Revised Code. These laws are staunchly enforced to protect those who technically cannot protect themselves.
Section 2919.22 was made not only to protect minors under the age of 18 but also to those with physical or mental disabilities under the age of 21. Any action which poses a substantial risk to a minor’s health and safety is considered a violation of this statute. Health and safety can refer to physical, emotional, and mental states. An example of these violations is driving under the influence with a child in the same vehicle.
What acts are considered as child endangerment?
I further simplified Section 2919.22 by making the terms more understandable to us civilians. The following acts are violations against the statute:
- Any action which poses a substantial risk to a child’s health and safety
- Abuse of the child
- Torture or cruel mistreatment of the child
- Applying physical punishment, or physically restraining the child wherein it can cause serious bodily harm
- Repeatedly administering unwarranted discipline, and there’s a serious risk that this could hinder or impair the child’s mental health and development
- Involving the child in child pornography
- Allowing the child to live on the same parcel of property within 100 feet of drugs and drug-related operations. (See Section 2925.04 and 2925.041)
- Drive under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs with a child in the same vehicle
What is the punishment for child endangerment in Ohio?
There can be a wide range of punishments for child endangerment. Depending on the gravity of the offense, you could be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor to a second-degree felony. You could face between 6 months to 8 years in prison along with a hefty fine and restitution.
What are the punishments associated with each classification of crime?
This misdemeanor can be charged against:
- Those guilty of act 1 (see list above) can include neglect, abandonment, and contributing to delinquency.
- Abuse without physical injury
- DUI with a child in vehicle minus physical injuries
A first-degree misdemeanor can land you up to 6 months of prison time, a fine up to $1,000, or both. A first-degree misdemeanor may also be punishable by probation.
You can be charged with a fifth-degree felony when:
- DUI resulting in serious physical injuries to your child
- Repeat offense of child endangerment without physical injuries to your child
A fifth-degree felony can result in 6 – 12 months in prison, up to $2,500 in fines, and up to five years of community control.
This felony can be charged to:
- Repeat offenders of act 1
- Repeat DUI offenses resulting in serious physical injuries
Fourth-degree felonies can result in up to 18 months in prison, with a minimum of 6 months. Those convicted with this can be charged with up to $5,000 in fines and five years of community control.
This felony can be charged to:
- Violators of act 1 resulting in serious physical harm
- Violators of act 3
- Violators of act 4
- Violators of act 5
- Violators of act 7
Third-degree felonies can result in 9 to 36 months in prison, with a fine of up to $10,000.
- Violators of act 2 resulting in serious physical harm
- Violators of act 3 resulting in serious physical harm or repeat offender
- Violators of act 4 resulting in serious physical harm or repeat offender
- Violators of act 5 resulting in serious physical harm or repeat offender
- Violators of act 7 resulting in serious physical harm or repeat offender
- Violators of act 6
For second and first-degree felonies, Ohio practices giving “indeterminate sentences.” This means that the judge sets a minimum term, with a maximum cap at 50% more than the minimum. So, if the judge sentences you to 8 years, you can serve up to 12 years.
Second-degree felonies can land you between 2 to 8 years in prison, with a fine of up to $15,000.
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About The Author
Judy Ponio is a professional writer and SEO specialist. She works hard to ensure her work uses accurate facts by cross checking reputable sources. She is the lead author for several prominent websites covering a variety of topics including law, health, nutrition, and more.