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Definition and Components of Los Angeles Child Endangerment Laws
Child Endangerment: A crime similar to child abuse in the sense that it establishes a parent’s negligence in keeping their child safe from harm. Under the law, any persons under the age of 18 years old is considered a child.
Parents have the right to determine many aspects of how to raise and care for their children, but according to California Penal Code Section 273a PC., there are specific legal limitations to what a parent can and cannot do. This branch of California law explains child endangerment, including related elements and commonly associated penalties.
For a prosecutor to prove that a defendant is guilty of Child Endangerment, they must prove the following elements have occurred:
Establishing Criminal Negligence
Criminal negligence is defined as carelessness, inattention, or lapse in judement that goes beyond what the law considers to be ordinary, or “normal”.
The following circumstances qualify as criminal negligence:
The state of California takes allegations of Child Endangerment very seriously, and prosecutors actively and aggressively seek prosecutions. Depending on the surroundingcircumstances of the case, the defendant could be faced with a wide range of penalties that vary in severity.
If it is determined that no great bodily harm or death was caused by the defendant’s actions, the case may be charged as a misdemeanor and the accused faces up to six months in jail and court fines. They may also be required to attend parenting classes.
If a child does suffer great bodily harm or die as a result of parental criminal negligence, the defendant could be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony and could face up to four years in state prison.
If a child dies as a result of this criminal negligence, prosecutors reserve the right to charge the defendant with additional and more serious charges, such as manslaughter or murder.
Building a Defense
If you have or think you may be charged with Child Endangerment, you are urged to seek legal assistance from a skilled and knowledgeable Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer right away. At our firm, we have years of experience building defense cases for our clients. We will devote ourselves to helping you explore all of your legal options, as well as answer all your questions and address any concerns you may have in regards to your defense.
To learn more about Child Endangerment charges and the legal optiopns available to you, please contact our firm today to set up your free consultation.