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What is chemical endangerment of a child?

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2022 | Drug Crimes

Most people are familiar with laws prohibiting possessing, using or distributing controlled substances. However, many people are unaware that exposing children to an environment where these activities occur can also result in criminal charges.

What is chemical endangerment of a child and when can law enforcement charge you with it?

What is chemical endangerment of a child?

Chemical endangerment of a child is an Alabama law that makes it a crime to expose children to an environment where people are distributing or producing controlled substances. Law enforcement may charge you with this crime if you intentionally, recklessly or knowingly expose a child to or cause a child to ingest, inhale, or come in contact with a controlled chemical substance or drug paraphernalia.

Who does law enforcement target with this crime?

Law enforcement can charge anyone with temporary or permanent custody or care of a child with this crime. Though lawmakers wrote this law to target parents who manufacture meth in their homes, pregnant women are frequently targeted by law enforcement.

What are the penalties for a conviction?

Chemical endangerment of a child is a class c felony that can result in a prison sentence of up to 10 years. If the court determines that the defendant harmed a child while committing this crime, it becomes a higher-level felony that can result in large fines and up to life in prison if the child suffers a severe injury or dies.

Because of the potentially severe penalties, parents and pregnant women should be particularly cautious when it comes to using, manufacturing or selling controlled substances in Alabama.