Can I petition the court to change my charge of endangering the welfare of a child? 3 Answers as of July 05, 2011I plead guilty to endangering the welfare of a child in June of last year. I left my 13-year-old stepdaughter home with their Aunt while I went to pick up my wife from work late at night. The Aunt called the police and said that I left her home alone. During the process of this we were in the mist of separating. Is there anything I can do to petition the courts?
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
This response is general information only and does not establish an attorney client relationship. However, I would need further information such as is the Aunt over 21, and if so, why would it be endangering the welfare of a child- was the Aunt unwilling to watch the child or was she unfit ( on drugs or alcohol or other disability ). Once you plead guilty to something it is hard to get the court to vacate or modify it unless you can show that the plea was not knowingly and voluntarily made. You should hire an attorney to see if you have a chance to succeed in vacating or modifying the plea.
Answer Applies to: New York
Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
Your summary states that you plead guilty to Endangering the Welfare of a Child because you left your 12 year old daughter (she could have been 11 or 12 at the time, it is not clear) home with your aunt who called the police. The aunt told the police you left the child home alone. You want to know if you can do something about your plea. I assume that you had an attorney, and that it was a public defender. I also assume that you were guilty of something or were advised to plead guilty because you plead guilty in open court and in order to do that you have to take an oath and swear to tell the judge the truth about what happened. You must acknowledge what the law says is the elements of the crime, and it has to be a proper allocution on the record. If it was not properly allocuted or was not enough to make out the elements of that crime your attorney can make a 440.10 motion to vacate the conviction and you can then take the matter to trial. If you did leave the 12 or 11 year old home alone that may or may not be enough to make out the crime. If you told the aunt to babysit and she agreed I don't know why she would call the police.(I suspect you are not being totally honest about what you did). If you left assuming the aunt would babysit the child and the aunt called the police it may still not be enough to convict you and may not be sufficient to make out the crime at the plea. I would not have advised you to plead guilty and unless the child is learning disabled or has some other disability it is not a crime to leave a 12 year old home alone for a few hours. She may have been 12 or 11 at the time since you state that you plead in June of last year. The younger the child is the more likely it would be a crime.I do not believe a jury would have convicted you if you are telling the truth, but I would need to know more of the facts and circumstances of the case and if the aunt agreed to babysit your child.
Answer Applies to: New York