Los Angeles Child Endangerment Lawyers

Charged with Violation of Penal Code 273a PC

California Penal Code 273a PC describes child endangerment as when:

“Any person who, under circumstances or conditions likely to produce great bodily harm or death, willfully causes or permits any child to suffer, or inflicts thereon unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, or having the care or custody of any child, willfully causes or permits the person or health of that child to be injured, or willfully causes or permits that child to be placed in a situation where his or her person or health is endangered.”

In simpler terms, child endangerment occurs when you willfully inflict physical or mental suffering on a child, or when you allow a child to be in a situation where that child could suffer an injury.

Examples of Child Endangerment

The following are examples of actions that could result in child endangerment charges:

  • Allowing a child to ride in a car without proper restraint, such as a seat belt or car seat.
  • Taking a child out on a boat without a life jacket.
  • Keeping a loaded gun where a child could get a hold of it.
  • Leaving a small child home without a babysitter.
  • Driving while intoxicated with a child in your car.
  • Leaving a child in the care of a person who you know to have a history of violence or abuse.
  • Not getting medical treatment for a sick or injured child.

Crimes Related to Child Endangerment

Other California offenses are related to child endangerment because the share similar characteristics or are often charged in connection to child endangerment.

  • Penal Code 273d PC – child abuse
  • Vehicle Code 23572 VC – DUI with child in the car
  • Penal Code 270 PC – failure to provide care (child neglect)
  • Health & Safety Code 12702 HS – furnishing dangerous fireworks to a minor
  • Penal Code 192(b) – involuntary manslaughter
  • Penal Code 288 PC – lewd acts with a minor
  • Penal Code 273ab – child abuse resulting in death to a child under eight years old

Penalties for Child Endangerment

In California, Penal Code 273a PC Child Endangerment is what’s known as a “wobbler,” meaning it can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on its severity. Child endangerment is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or in the state prison for two, four, or six years.

Legal Defenses Against Penal Code 273a PC Child Endangerment Charges

Keep in mind that child endangerment doesn’t need to result in any actual injury; it can merely be allowing a child to be in a situation where they could be injured. Obviously, one could argue that any time a child is in a car or swinging on a swing set they could be injured. In addition to arguing that the child wasn’t in danger of “great bodily harm or death,” we can argue that:

  • The act wasn’t willful, it was accidental.
  • You weren’t aware of the danger to the child.
  • You weren’t the person charged with looking after the child’s welfare.
  • You were exercising your parental right to discipline.
  • You didn’t cause the child’s injury.

Contact a Los Angeles Child Endangerment Lawyer at Lewin Law Group Today

Child endangerment is a serious crime, not just in the eyes of the courts, but also in the eyes of public opinion. If you have been charged with child endangerment you will need the representation of an experienced Los Angeles domestic violence attorney. The legal team at Lewin Law Group in Los Angeles has been successfully defending Southern California clients since 2000. Call our offices today for a free case evaluation. We can be reached at (800) 458-1488.