According to California Penal Code 273a, endangering children is a crime. Charges of child endangerment are frequently connected to domestic violence cases in Los Angeles, California. In basic terms, whenever an individual endangers the well being or safety of a child, they could be charged with child endangerment.
Child Endangerment in Los Angeles could occur by parents neglecting their child by themselves for an extended period of time or by parent who brings their child into a situation where drugs are laying around within reasonable reach of the child (for example).
This criminal offense can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony case. The links above provide more details about this crime and the defense strategies we can use at LACD to defend you. Call us today for Free Consultation right away.
Laws of Child Endangerment in Los Angeles
Parents usually have a lot of discretion when it comes to the way they raise and discipline their children. However, there are always some restrictions on how you can train your kids, because you could be charged with child endangerment if your actions put the child at risk of physical or mental harm.
In Los Angele, child endangerment, as defined in California Penal Code Section 273A, occurs when your behavior puts a child in your care or custody at risk of suffering great bodily harm, death, or mental suffering.
When discussing child endangerment, it’s important to remember that California Penal Code 273A can be invoked simply by placing a child in a situation where they risk harm. No actual physical harm needs to be done to the child.
The criminal offense of child endangerment in Los Angeles can be filed when a defendant:
- Willfully permits or causes a child to be placed in a dangerous situation;
- Permits or causes a child to suffer unreasonable physical pain or mental suffering;
- Willfully permits or causes a child under their care to be injured.
If you – or a loved one – are under criminal investigation for child endangerment or already charged, you need to immediately consult with a Los Angeles child endangerment defense lawyer at LACD law group to review all the specific details and explore legal options.
Penalties and Consequences
Whether or not your actions put a child at risk of serious physical harm or death will ultimately determine the penalties you will face in your child endangerment case.
There Were No Risk of Great Bodily Harm or Death:
If the child is not at risk of great bodily harm or death, child endangerment is a misdemeanor offense, punishable by:
- Six months in a Los Angeles County jail;
- $1,000 in fines; and/or
- Summary probation.
There Were Risk of Great Bodily Harm or Death:
If the child suffers or is at risk of great bodily harm or death, child endangerment, in this situation, can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. The state will consider the injuries suffered by the child and will check your prior criminal record before determining your specific criminal charges.
Felony child endangerment is punishable by:
- Two, four, or six years in a California state prison;
- $10,000 in fines; and/or
- Four years of formal probation.
In Case the child does suffer great bodily harm your prison sentence can be extended by an additional three to six years.
If you are convicted of child endangerment in Los Angeles, regardless of whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony, your criminal sentence may also include: An Order of Protection to keep you away from your victim; Requirements to complete a child abuser’s treatment program and/or other counseling; and/or Formal requirements to steer clear of drugs and/or alcohol.
A conviction for child endangerment will also cause you to suffer serious non-criminal consequences. These collateral consequences are not directly tied to your child endangerment crime. Instead, these penalties exist simply because you have been convicted of a crime. Social and civil penalties associated with a conviction for child endangerment include:
Serious non-criminal consequences will follow a conviction for Child Endangerment. These consequences have no connection to the crime itself but they exist simply because you have been convicted of a crime. A conviction for endangering children carries both social and legal consequences, including:
- Loss of child custody and/or visitation rights.
- Loss of the privilege to own or possess a firearm.
- Difficulty securing a good-paying job.
- Inability to secure employment in certain fields.
- Inability to participate in some government welfare programs.
Strategies and Legal Defenses
At LACD, we fully understand how child endangerment cases are investigated and prosecuted. An experienced Los Angeles child endangerment attorney at our law firm can use a variety of legal defenses for our clients, including:
- The accusations are false,
- You were acting within your legal rights to discipline your child,
- The child was not placed in danger intentionally,
- You were not the person responsible for the child,
- The allegations are being used during a contested child custody case,
- One parent coached the child to provide false information.
A case of child endangerment is highly fact-specific. Our attorneys might be able to argue that every reasonable parent occasionally forgets to attend to their child, which results in the child being put in danger. In this type of situation, our criminal lawyers can argue no crime was committed because your conduct was neither intentional nor criminally negligent.
Legal Advice and Free Consultation
If you or a loved one have been arrested for child Endangerment, we recommend to discuss your case with a qualified Los Angeles Child Endangerment lawyer immediately. Attorneys at LACD understand how to effectively represent clients charged with sensitive cases such as these.
You also have the option to schedule your 30 minutes face to face Free Consultation with your criminal lawyer through this link. Do not hesitate as we are more than happy to help.