Charged with Child Endangerment?

Child endangerment is one of the most commonly charged offenses in California. California Penal Code Section 273a makes it a state prison offense to cause or permit a child to suffer physical pain, mental suffering, injury, or to permit a child to be placed in a situation where his or her person or health is endangered. The problem, for parents, is that this crime includes many things that are accidental or, in reality trivial. Parents have been arrested for leaving their children at home while grocery shopping. One parent, who was doing laundry in her apartment complex, was arrested because her daughter wandered out of the apartment and was found in front of the apartment, near the “dangerous” street. Parents in simple possession of marijuana have been charged with child endangerment because drugs are dangerous to children.

The list of crimes that constitute “child endangerment” is nearly endless. Virtually every parent in the state of California has committed this crime because it encompasses so many accidental behaviors. The reality, too, is that children, especially little children, move around a lot and get into a lot of accidents. Unfortunately, this perfectly natural behavior has been criminalized in California. Thus, if your child has an accident, you may well be criminally prosecuted for failing to prevent it.

As an experience domestic violence attorney, Joseph T. Rhea has successfully defended many child endangerment cases. Often, this is simply a matter of getting the District Attorney, or jury, to recognize common sense: that accidents do happen, and not every bad thing that happens in this world is a crime. Attorney Joseph T. Rhea will work with you individually to present the best possible defense.

Call Joshua Tree Criminal Defense Attorney Joseph T. Rhea at (760) 327-3711 to schedule a consultation.