Are You Accused of Child Endangerment?

Murrieta Criminal Defense Lawyer Working to Clear Your Name

When parents are accused of acts of child endangerment, they are oftentimes automatically perceived by others as being terrible parents, even if the allegations have not yet been proven. They can have their children taken away from them as their cases are being investigated. Furthermore, if they are convicted of their charges, they can end up with crimes on their record, jail time and even greater losses, such as termination of their parental rights.

At the Law Office of Nic Cocis & Associates, we know that everyone deserves to be considered innocent until proven guilty--not the other way around. We fight to protect our clients' rights and their futures with their families. In addition to parents, there are also others who can be accused of willfully putting children's safety in danger, including relatives and child care workers. We encourage you to speak to our Murrieta criminal defense attorney about your case!

California's Definition of Child Endangerment

Child endangerment is defined under California Penal Code 273a. According to the statute, this offense occurs when a person intentionally does any of the following:

  • Inflicts or allows the infliction of physical pain or mental suffering on a child when such actions cannot be justified
  • Causes or allows a child's health to be harmed (when the offender has custody of the child)
  • Causes or allows a child to be placed in situations that are dangerous to his or her health (when the offender has custody over the child)

This offense can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of the endangerment that occurred. If the act of endangerment was likely to cause great bodily harm or death, the offense is a felony with a sentence of up to six years in prison. If the endangerment was not likely to cause great bodily harm or death, the crime is classified as a misdemeanor with punishment of up to 12 months in jail. When probation is granted, it must be served for at least four years. The probation may include a criminal court protective order that keeps the defendant away from the alleged victim, and it may also include a requirement to complete a child abuser's treatment counseling program.

Building a Strong Defense Plan

Once you bring your criminal matter to our law firm, we can provide you with a free case evaluation, during which we can help you determine what type of defense options you have. In some cases, a parent may have simply been disciplining his or her child in a non-abusive way that did not actually cause endangerment. In others cases, the endangerment might have been an accident that could have happened to anyone, meaning that the parent or other adult did not willfully put the child's health or safety in danger and was not acting negligently. There are also people who falsely accuse others of child endangerment simply to advance their own agendas.

If you have been arrested for child endangerment in Temecula, Murrieta, Wildomar, Menifee, Hemet, Lake Elsinore, Banning, Corona or Riverside, our criminal defense team is ready to help you prepare the defense plan that is right for you. Contact us today!

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