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Orange County Child Endangerment Attorney

Child Endangerment

The lesser known child endangerment evokes emotional reactions in many people. Some would say Michael Jackson's highly publicized act of bringing his new born child close to the hotel balcony was in some form endangerment. But the way in which this charge is alleged has many faces.

Defense of Child Endangerment


The defense of child endangerment goes to the heart of the parents intent or mental state. For this particular offense, the parent must have had willfully committed the crime. To negate this element of the charge, evidence has to be shown that the parent lacked this mental state.

Additionally, to negate the parent's criminal negligence, evidence would also have to be shown
That the acts committed involved more than ordinary carelessness, inattention, or mistake in judgment. To show this, the negligence would have to point in the direction that the acts where reckless in a way that was a gross departure from the way an ordinarily careful person would act in the same situation, and that it amounted to a disregard for human life or indifference to the consequences of the acts, and a reasonable person would have known that acting in that way would naturally and probably result in harm to others


Laws of Child Endangerment


While child abuse and child endangerment seem very similar, they are actually different crimes involving different elements. Most cases of child endangerment involve a person allowing a child to live in such deplorable conditions as could potentially cause great harm. In general terms, if a person willfully permits severe mental or physical harm to happen to a child under his or her care while acting in criminal negligence, it qualifies as child endangerment (Penal Code § 273a). However, no injury necessarily needs to result from this offense


Criminal negligence is a large component of child endangerment. If a person is so indifferent towards a child's safety and well being such that he or she neglects the child to the point where it creates a high risk of death or bodily harm, it is considered criminal negligence. If something happens to the child after that as a result of the conditions created by the negligence of the adult, the adult could be charged with child endangerment.