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Risk of Injury to a Minor (ROI) is a criminal offense in Connecticut that is often charged whenever children are placed in a potentially dangerous situation, whether actually injured or not. It is used for child abuse (including physical and sexual abuse) as well as numerous other situations in which children are not supervised. Examples of ROI include:

  • Leaving a child (or children) unattended at home or in a car

  • Physical or sexual abuse

  • Driving drunk or recklessly with a child in the car (this will be in addition to the motor vehicle charges)

  • Sexual contact

  • Providing a minor with alcohol or drugs

  • Domestic violence with another person or other erratic behavior while a child is present or nearby 

  • Possessing or using weapons in the presence of a child

  • Taking a child without authorization 

This list is far from exhaustive. You can tell by the statutory text below that ROI is a very broad charge by design. It is important to note that it is at least a Class C felony and can be a Class B felony for certain conduct. That means that ROI exposes a person to at least 10 years of jail and possibly more. 

Additionally, if it is a parent or other caretaker of a child who is charged with ROI, DCF will very likely become involved with the family. For that reason, it is important to hire an attorney who is skilled in both criminal and juvenile/DCF matters. 



Sec. 53-21. Injury or risk of injury to, or impairing morals of, children. Sale of children. (a) Any person who (1) wilfully or unlawfully causes or permits any child under the age of sixteen years to be placed in such a situation that the life or limb of such child is endangered, the health of such child is likely to be injured or the morals of such child are likely to be impaired, or does any act likely to impair the health or morals of any such child, or (2) has contact with the intimate parts, as defined in section 53a-65, of a child under the age of sixteen years or subjects a child under sixteen years of age to contact with the intimate parts of such person, in a sexual and indecent manner likely to impair the health or morals of such child, or (3) permanently transfers the legal or physical custody of a child under the age of sixteen years to another person for money or other valuable consideration or acquires or receives the legal or physical custody of a child under the age of sixteen years from another person upon payment of money or other valuable consideration to such other person or a third person, except in connection with an adoption proceeding that complies with the provisions of chapter 803, shall be guilty of (A) a class C felony for a violation of subdivision (1) or (3) of this subsection, and (B) a class B felony for a violation of subdivision (2) of this subsection, except that, if the violation is of subdivision (2) of this subsection and the victim of the offense is under thirteen years of age, such person shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of which five years of the sentence imposed may not be suspended or reduced by the court.

(b) The act of a parent or agent leaving an infant thirty days or younger with a designated employee pursuant to section 17a-58 shall not constitute a violation of this section.


We practice primarily in criminal and DCF/juvenile matters and have represented numerous clients in Risk of Injury cases. In handling a criminal ROI case, we make it a point to contact DCF and advise our client on that side. In many cases, we've had clients' charges nolled (the case doesn't have enough substance to go to trial) or dismissed. Contact us today to discuss your case.