California Child Endangerment Lawyers

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What is Child Endangerment?

Child endangerment involves endangering the life or health of a child, usually because of the recklessness or carelessness of an adult. In California, child endangerment charges can be a felony or misdemeanor. The state defines child endangerment in three ways.

What are the Three Ways California Defines Endangering Children?

The three ways are as follows:

What Does “Willfully” Mean?

In California, willfully is defined as doing an act on purpose or without being forced. The law doesn’t require a defendant to intend to cause harm to a child or break the law. 

What Does Dangerous Situation Refer To?

The state broadly defines a dangerous situation to include:

Is Reckless Endangerment the Same as Child Endangerment?

No. Reckless endangerment involves showing a disregard for human life and safety of other people, including children.

When Is Child Endangerment a Felony?

In California, the charge of child endangerment is a wobbler. So whether a defendant is charged with a felony or misdemeanor depends on the surrounding circumstances.

To be charged with a felony requires great bodily harm, meaning a substantial or significant injuries, including death. The punishment for felony child endangerment can be 2 to 6 years in prison.

When Is Child Endangerment a Misdemeanor?

A defendant will be charged with misdemeanor child endangerment so long as the child does not experience great bodily harm or dies. A misdemeanor child endangerment is punishable by up to 1 year in jail.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Represent Me Regarding a Child Endangerment Charge?

Yes. Contact a lawyer to better understand and fight this charge.

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Last Modified: 08-03-2016 03:00 PM PDT

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