In California, child endangerment laws are a group of criminal offenses penalizing individuals for putting a minor’s safety in jeopardy. Another type of law affecting the health and safety of minors is contributing to the delinquency of a minor. In California, there are two ways a person can be charged with delinquency of a minor.
How Does California Define Delinquency of a Minor?
California defines the offense as allowing children to engage in criminal behavior.
How Can I Be Charged with This Crime?
The first way a person is charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor is by allowing or failing to act regarding a minor’s delinquent behavior. This action or lack of action leads to the minor:
- Becoming a juvenile delinquent
- Becoming a dependent of the state’s juvenile court system
- Becoming habitual truant
What is the Second Way I Can Be Charged with This Crime?
A defendant can also be charged with this criminal act when contacting a minor under 14 years old in order to lure the child away from their parents. But to be charged with this crime, the defendant must have no pre-existing relationship with the minor involved.
What is the Penalties for Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor?
The charge is a misdemeanor, but there are two different penalties. If the minor is a delinquent, the defendant faces up to 1 year in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, and/or a mandatory probation of up to 5 years.
If the defendant is convicted of trying to lure the child away, it’s approximately six months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, and/or a mandatory probation. The defendant may have to register as a sex offender if the court finds that the defendant engaged in “lewd or lascivious conduct” with the minor.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Help Me with This Charge?
Yes. Contact a California criminal lawyer regarding your delinquency of a minor to learn about available defenses.