Child abandonment is a crime that can occur in many ways. The first way the crime occurs is when a parent or legal guardian deserts a child. Another way is for a parent or legal guardian to show a total disregard for the child’s health, safety, and welfare. If a parent or guardian fails to provide basic care for a child living with them, it is also considered child abandonment.

How Is Child Abandonment Defined in Georgia?

Child abandonment in Georgia is called reckless abandonment. According to Georgia law, reckless abandonment occurs when a parent or guardian supervising the welfare of a child under the age of a year old abandons that child.

Can a Babysitter Be Charged with Reckless Abandonment in Georgia?

Yes, as a babysitter is someone who is placed in charge of taking care of a child. Anyone, including babysitters and nannies, supervising the care or welfare of a child under the age of one year can be charged with reckless abandonment.

How Does Reckless Abandonment Happen?

In order to recklessly abandon a child, a person, having immediate charge or custody of a child, must voluntarily and willfully physically abandon the child. The person must have the intent to completely end all custodial or parental responsibilities. By renouncing their responsibilities and duties, the person leaves the child in a condition where the child dies as a result.

What Is Reckless Endangerment?

Reckless endangerment is the crime of a person showing an indifference or disregard for human life. This disregard creates a substantial risk of harm to someone. The substantial risk of harm ranges from serious bodily injury to death to an individual or group of people. Similar to reckless abandonment, reckless endangerment of a child involves subjecting a child to a situation that places them at substantial risk of harm.

What Is the Penalty for Reckless Abandonment in Georgia?

Abandoning a child under one year old is a felony. The criminal punishment for this crime is 10 to 25 years in prison.

Should I Contact a Lawyer to Help Me?

Yes. It is vital to have legal representation when facing a felony crime. Contact a Georgia criminal lawyer immediately for help.