Attorney McAllister recently secured a “not guilty” verdict for a client charged with Endangering Welfare of Children and Public Drunkenness in Berks County. This client avoided a possible jail sentence and significant other collateral consequences.

Endangering Welfare of Children is defined as a parent or guardian who knowingly endangers the welfare of a child by violating a duty of care, protection or support. The charge is graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree which means that it is punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years of incarceration and a $10,000 fine.

Public Drunkenness is defined as a person appearing in public manifestly under the influence of alcohol or drugs to a degree that endangers himself or other persons or property or annoys others in the vicinity . Public Drunkenness is a summary offense and is punishable by a maximum fine of $500 for the first offense or $1,000 for the second or subsequent offense.

The crime of Endangering Welfare of Children is a very serious charge that can have a lasting impact on a parent. Perhaps even more serious than a potential jail sentence, a conviction for Endangering Welfare of Children can result in the loss of custody, Children & Youth involvement and the possibility of children being removed from the defendant’s care by the county.

Attorney McAllister’s client initially applied for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, but was denied entrance into the program (see our previous blog posting on Non-DUI ARD). Based on Attorney McAllister’s recommendation, this client decided to take the case to trial. This client waived the right to a jury trial and elected to have the case heard by the judge during a bench trial. The decision to elect a bench trial is one that needs to be carefully considered with the help of an attorney.

Thanks to the hard work of Attorney McAllister, this client is able to move forward without a damaging criminal conviction.

If you’ve been charged with Endangering Welfare of Children or Public Drunkenness in Berks County, you need the help of our Reading, PA criminal attorneys. Call us at 610-372-5128 or email us at [email protected]