Los Angeles Child Endangerment Attorney
If you are facing a wrongful accusation of child endangerment, it’s important to secure a reliable attorney as soon as possible. Contact the Hurwitz Law Group office in Los Angeles today to schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers. Anyone accused of a crime in California still has rights, and the Hurwitz Law Group is here to help protect those rights.
“Child endangerment” describes any act that puts the health and welfare of a child at risk; if you’re concerned after an accusation of child endangerment, talk to us. Child endangerment can include neglect, abandonment, abuse, reckless driving with a child in the vehicle, and leaving a child in an unsafe environment or in the care of a known abuser. The penalties for child endangerment typically hinge on the age of the children involved, the defendant’s conduct during the incident in question, and the degree of harm suffered due to the defendant’s actions.
A charge of child endangerment is a serious matter, and anyone facing unjust charges needs a reliable Los Angeles child endangerment lawyer. The team at Hurwitz Law Group in Los Angeles believes it’s crucial for parents and guardians to understand the California Penal Code as it pertains to child endangerment and the possible penalties.
California’s Child Endangerment Laws
In California, a person is liable for all willful misconduct that leads to property damage, injury, or death of a child under the age of 18. Parents are also liable for their children’s actions. For example, a child could cause a car accident while driving with his or her parents’ permission. The parents would be liable for resulting medical expenses of up $25,000 and possibly further damages. A parent who knowingly puts his or her child in a dangerous situation is not only liable for the resulting damages to other parties but injury to the child as well.
Child endangerment charges will make it very hard for the offending parent or caregiver to maintain custody or contact with the child. Additionally, offenders can face misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the severity of harm they cause to the child. California Penal Code Chapter 2, Section 273a outlines the punishments for child endangerment:
- A person who willfully and knowingly allows a child to remain in a dangerous situation where great bodily injury or death may result, or who otherwise mortally endangers the health and safety of a child commits felony child neglect and could face up to one year in county jail or up to six years in state prison.
- In any circumstances other than those that may cause great bodily harm or death, offenders will face misdemeanor child neglect charges, punishable by probation. The mandatory minimum probation period is 48 months, and the offender must complete a one-year child abuser’s treatment program with the approval of the probation department. If the offender was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the offense in question, he or she must abstain from drugs and alcohol during the probation period and a judge will likely require him or her to complete a substance abuse treatment program.
Individuals who receive convictions for either misdemeanor or felony child neglect will also face liability in civil claims from the family of the children affected by their actions. Parents found guilty of child endangerment may lose visitation rights to their children or must complete specific rehabilitation courses before visitation can continue. A record of child endangerment can also make it difficult for an offender to secure future employment in the school system, childcare facilities, or businesses that cater to children.