A Tough Defense for the Toughest Offenses®

Parental Drug Use As Child Abuse

Experience You Can Trust
The state of Utah is one of many states that charges parents with child abuse or child neglect in response to proven or suspected parental drug abuse
Download PDF

Parental Drug Use As Child Abuse

The state of Utah is one of many states that charges parents with child abuse or child neglect in response to proven or suspected parental drug abuse. The charges are considered so serious that they can result in the parent losing custody of the child and even in the parent losing visitation rights as well.

If you are facing charges of child abuse due to accusations of drug use, it’s important for you to contact an experienced attorney who will defend your parental rights. Don’t let accusations of drug use result in losing your children.

Contact Wasatch Defense Lawyers today 801.980.9965 for a no-obligation case review.

Prenatal Drug Use

According to Utah child abuse laws, there are two ways that children can be considered endangered through drug abuse by their parents or other adults. The first way is through prenatal drug use. Federal law requires Utah to have policies in place to notify Child Protective Services when a child has been exposed to alcohol or illegal drugs while in the womb. Even though using drugs while pregnant is not specifically illegal for the mother, the state of Utah considers exposing the unborn child to drugs as child-endangerment.

The second way is if a child is born showing withdrawal symptoms or with Fetal-Alcohol Syndrome. Any licensed medical professional attending the birth of the child or caring for the child is required to report this information to Child and Family Services. Anytime evidence of prenatal drug use is found, the state immediately begins a plan on how to care for the child and if you will be able to maintain your parental rights. If you are facing child abuse charges due to prenatal drug use, it is important that you…

Stay calm and contact us as soon as possible.

Exposure of Children to Illegal Drugs or Controlled Substances

It is a felony for anyone to knowingly or intentionally permit a child to be exposed to illegal drugs or controlled substances in the state of Utah. Exposure is defined as the following:

  • Giving a child the opportunity to view, access, or smell an illegal drug or controlled substance
  • Allowing a child to smell any odor that results from producing or manufacturing an illegal drug
  • Allowing a child to inhale or ingest a controlled substance

If a child is harmed from inhaling or ingesting an illegal drug, or if the child dies, the penalty can be increased from a third-degree felony to a first-degree felony. If charged, you would not only be facing up to 20 years in prison, and the loss of your parental rights, including to any other children who weren’t harmed in the situation.

It’s important to note that exposing a child to a prescription drug that is legally prescribed is not considered child endangerment.

The Best Criminal Defense Attorney in Salt Lake City

With the right attorney, the punishment for parents facing child endangerment charges can be reduced and even dropped. The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner you can have access to someone who can guide you through the thorny Utah legal system. If you are facing any child neglect charges, talk to the lawyers at Wasatch Defense Attorneys today for a no-obligation case review.

Don’t leave the future of your family to chance, contact us today 801.980.9965.

Guard Your Rights

Do NOT Waive Your Right to Legal Counsel! Authorities will try get you to incriminate yourself and suggest there is no need for an attorney. Stay calm and call us immediately: 801.980.9965

Experience You Can Trust

We have represented thousands of clients, with countless difficulties and challenges, for more than 100 years. Less than 1% of our clients have ever been incarcerated.

Compassionate & Aggressive

Whether you have a family, financial, or criminal matter – our ethical, caring attorneys listen to YOU and use their expertise and a strong, hands-on approach to get you the best result.