EVERYONE DESERVES A SECOND CHANCE


SALT LAKE CITY CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS

EVERYONE DESERVES A SECOND CHANCE


SALT LAKE CITY CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS

PARENTAL DRUG USE AS CHILD ABUSE

Parental Drug Use as Child Abuse or Abuse of a Vulnerable Adult in Utah

Many states criminalize the use of illegal drugs in front of children, and Utah is among these states. If you have been charged with parental drug use as child abuse, which is sometimes called endangerment of a child, you should immediately contact a defense attorney with experience in Utah child endangerment law. The decisions you make in the first few days will have lasting consequences for you and the child involved. A lawyer can explain your rights and guide you through the Utah legal system. Penalties are almost always less severe when you have a skilled attorney working on your behalf. The team at Intermountain Legal is especially equipped to help because of their background in prosecution in the greater Salt Lake City area. They have relationships with prosecuting attorneys and knowledge of the different Utah judges which can help them in reaching a resolution in your case. Their team will protect your rights and help you get the best possible outcome for your family.

Utah Parental Drug Use as Child Abuse Laws

Utah parental drug use as child abuse laws address two specific ways in which children are endangered through drug abuse by their parents or other adults. The first is prenatal drug use. The second is the harm to children of any age who are exposed to illegal drug use by their parent or other adult in their homes or in their environment.

Prenatal Drug Exposure

Federal law requires Utah to have policies and procedures in place which require that Child Protective Services be notified if a child is born after being exposed to alcohol or illegal drugs or other controlled substances while in the womb. A plan must be established to safely care for newborns that are at risk or suffering from withdrawal symptoms. The law requires that any person, including a licensed medical professional, who attends the birth of a child or cares for a child and determines that child suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome or fetal drug dependency must report that determination to Utah Child and Family Services as soon as possible.

Exposure of Children to Illegal Drugs or Controlled Substances

Utah makes it a felony for anyone to knowingly or intentionally permit a child to be exposed to an illegal drug or controlled substance. The state defines exposure to an illegal drug as giving a child the opportunity to view, access, smell an illegal drug or controlled substance or permitting a child to smell an odor that results from producing or manufacturing an illegal drug or controlled substance. Utah likewise considers allowing a child to have access to drug paraphernalia to be exposure. It is a third degree felony to knowingly or intentionally allow a child to inhale or ingest and illegal drug or controlled substance.

These same laws are applied to situations where a vulnerable adult is exposed. A vulnerable adult is a person over the age of 18 who has mental or physical impairments which make that adult unable to protect them-self, provide for them-self, manage their own resources, carry on the daily activities or life, or recognize that they are being abused or exploited.

Utah Penalties for Parental Drug Use as Child Abuse

Parental drug use as child abuse or endangerment of a child is a third degree felony in Utah.

The law increases the charge to a second degree felony if a child suffers bodily injury as a result of being exposed. It is a first degree felony in Utah if a child dies as a result of that exposure.

Exposing a child to a controlled substance which was obtained by a lawful prescription and which is in the possession of the person for whom the controlled substance was prescribed is not considered parental drug use as child abuse or endangerment of a child.

When it comes to parental drug use as child abuse or child endangerment, then stakes are very high. Parents or guardians who are charges with parental drug use as child abuse or endangerment of a child not only face possible fines and jail time, but also risk having the child victim removed from their custody. In these cases, it is essential to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who will work on your behalf. The team at Intermountain Legal can begin negotiating with prosecutors and working with the Utah Department of Child Protective Services as soon as you contact them. Courts are not anxious to separate families, and are often willing to substitute drug treatment programs for more severe punishments. However, people charged with parental drug use as child abuse usually need a criminal attorney to help them reach more favorable arrangements with the courts.

Call our Salt Lake City team at Intermountain Legal

Intermountain Legal in Salt Lake City has built an impressive record of courtroom success and client satisfaction. Our dedicated defense attorneys are effective advocates in resolving or minimizing those charges. Call our office today at 801-970-2800 or contact us online to begin taking control of your legal troubles.


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STEVEN K. BURTON

As a former prosecutor Steven gained an intimate knowledge of various Domestic Violence Courts, DUI courts and other criminal court programs and procedures. He has spent over 3,500 hours in court and has argued more cases than most attorneys do in a lifetime. For more on Steve's experience, click here.

JUSTIN PRATT

Attorney Justin S. Pratt handles all types of criminal cases, with an emphasis on DUI-related charges. He believes that someone who is charged with a crime deserves the specialized attention of an attorney who will protect his client's rights by taking the time to examine constitutional issues, important factual circumstances, and any other crucial factors that may be relevant to the case. For more on Justin's experience, click here.

STACI VISSER

Staci has represented clients in nearly every type of criminal case, from misdemeanors to first-degree felonies. She has an excellent reputation with her clients and they have repeatedly recommended her to their friends and family. She also practices criminal appeals and family law. For more on Staci's experience, click here.

MARK LAROCCO

Mark is skilled at dealing with all aspects of family law, including helping clients obtain modifications, enforce court orders, and achieve fair custody and support awards. Going through a painful divorce or a custody battle can be one of the most difficult times in someone’s life, and Mark is there to help every step of the way. For more on Mark's experience, click here.

MATTHEW BELL

Matthew's reputation as an attorney is one who thoroughly understands the law and diligently advocates to advance his client's interests. His practice primarily focuses on representing clients in family law matters. He has assisted hundreds of clients in divorce, custody, guardianship, and termination of parental rights cases. For more on Matthew's experience click here.

ELLY HENDRIKSEN

Elly is a skilled attorney who specializes in divorce and criminal law. Spending the majority of her career in the courtroom, Elly understands how to effectively advocate for her clients who find themselves in the toughest of situations. Elly has successfully guided clients through trials and difficult hearings in front of judges and commissioners, and has expertly negotiated cases through hundreds of hours of mediation. For more on Elly's experience click here.

STEVEN K. BURTON

As a former prosecutor Steven gained an intimate knowledge of various Domestic Violence Courts, DUI courts and other criminal court programs and procedures. He has spent over 3,500 hours in court and has argued more cases than most attorneys do in a lifetime. For more on Steve's experience, click here.

 
JUSTIN PRATT

Attorney Justin S. Pratt handles all types of criminal cases, with an emphasis on DUI-related charges. He believes that someone who is charged with a crime deserves the specialized attention of an attorney who will protect his client's rights by taking the time to examine constitutional issues, important factual circumstances, and any other crucial factors that may be relevant to the case. For more on Justin's experience, click here.

 
STACI VISSER

Staci has represented clients in nearly every type of criminal case, from misdemeanors to first-degree felonies. She has an excellent reputation with her clients and they have repeatedly recommended her to their friends and family. She also practices criminal appeals and family law. For more on Staci's experience, click here.

 
MARK LAROCCO

Mark is skilled at dealing with all aspects of family law, including helping clients obtain modifications, enforce court orders, and achieve fair custody and support awards. Going through a painful divorce or a custody battle can be one of the most difficult times in someone’s life, and Mark is there to help every step of the way. For more on Mark's experience, click here.

 
MATTHEW BELL

Matthew's reputation as an attorney is one who thoroughly understands the law and diligently advocates to advance his client's interests. His practice primarily focuses on representing clients in family law matters. He has assisted hundreds of clients in divorce, custody, guardianship, and termination of parental rights cases. For more on Matthew's experience click here.

 
ELLY HENDRIKSEN

Elly is a skilled attorney who specializes in divorce and criminal law. Spending the majority of her career in the courtroom, Elly understands how to effectively advocate for her clients who find themselves in the toughest of situations. Elly has successfully guided clients through trials and difficult hearings in front of judges and commissioners, and has expertly negotiated cases through hundreds of hours of mediation. For more on Elly's experience click here.