Child Endangerment laws make it a crime to endanger the health or life of a child through an adult's recklessness or indifference. Some states include child endangerment offenses in existing child abuse statutes, whereas other states made child endangerment a separate offense.

What Are Examples of Child Endangerment?

States tend to differ as to what constitutes child endangerment. Some common examples include: 

What Are the Penalties for Endangering a Child?

The penalties for endangering a child vary from state to state but can be very severe: 

  • California: Imprisonment for up to 6 years
  • Illinois: Imprisonment for up to 10 years
  • New York: Imprisonment for up to 1 year
  • Texas: Imprisonment for up to 20 years

Seeking Legal Help

If you are accused of endangering a child, you should speak to a criminal defense lawyer immediately to learn more about your rights, your defenses and the complicated legal system. If you are a victim of Child Abuse, you should call the police. If there is sufficient evidence, the police will then forward your case to a prosecutor's office to pursue charges against the person who committed the child abuse against you.