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Washington Child Endangerment Charges: What Are They?

Posted by Steve Karimi | Apr 26, 2018 | 0 Comments

A Washington woman was arrested in early 2018 when police were called to investigate drug paraphernalia discovered by her teenage daughter. Theresa Rebecca Gray was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and reckless endangerment.

When the teenager's father learned his daughter discovered a purple cloth bag in her dresser containing hypodermic needles--including one loaded with heroin--crack pipes, and other paraphernalia, he immediately called the police. His daughter was upset by the items and the grandfather, who owned the property where they were living, gave police permission to search the property.

Gray denied that she was using drugs, explaining she was in recovery for her addiction. She blamed the paraphernalia on friends who lived with her during the height of her addiction. During the search, police also discovered credit cards that belonged to the property owners. Police speculated that the cards were used without permission to charge more than $1,000 in purchases. Consequently, police also charged Gray with fraud.

What are Child Endangerment Charges?

The law in Washington points out that anytime a parent or guardian of a child fails to care for that child, abuses or inflicts injury, sexually abuses or exploits, or treats a child carelessly, child endangerment charges could result. These behaviors include putting a child's safety at risk, such as having harmful substances or drug paraphernalia nearby.

Legal Penalties for Child Endangerment

Gray's child endangerment charges were added to possession of drugs and paraphernalia since her daughter had access to the material. Anyone charged with crimes involving drugs or alcohol use while caring for a child faces stiff penalties. For example, if a person is pulled over with a minor in the car and is found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he or she could face Washington penalties for child endangerment in addition to those for a DUI conviction. In addition to these, a conviction could also affect the person's status as a parent.

Penalties for DUI Child Endangerment

  • An additional sentence of six months of ignition interlock (IID) use
  • An additional jail sentence as follows:
    • For first-time DUI offenders: 24 hours of incarceration and a fine of at least $1,000
    • For Second-time DUI offenders: five days of incarceration and a fine of at least $2,000
    • For third and fourth time DUI offenders: ten days of incarceration and a fine of at least $3,000

These are serious, complicated cases. If you have been charged with child endangerment or DUI Child Endangerment, you have rights. It is important that you learn these rights and protect them. An experienced Washington DUI attorney can help you sort out your case, preserve your constitutional rights, and vigorously fight your charges. Your future hinges on the outcome of this and Steve Karimi can give you the strongest chance to emerge from your charges. Call our office to schedule your free consultation today. 

About the Author

Steve Karimi

Steve Karimi attended Pepperdine University School of Law. After graduation he worked as a prosecutor in Seattle where he gained valuable insight to the criminal justice system. Attorney Karimi uses his experiences as a prosecutor everyday only now he fights for the justice of those accused.

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