Los Angeles Child Endangerment Defense Attorneys
Under California law 273a PC, a person who is accused of putting a child in a situation that is likely to produce great bodily harm or death, or willfully (or permits) a child to suffer, if convicted, can be punished by incarceration for up to six years. The law applies in cases in which it is alleged that unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering was inflicted on a child, or the child was put in a situation that endangered health and wellbeing.
A charge of “child endangerment” can be filed against any person who has a child in their care, which could be parents, other relatives, or another adult responsible for caring for a child. The penalties imposed for a felony child endangerment conviction can be life-changing:
- Two four, or six years in state prison
- Fines up to $10,000
A felony charge may be filed if it is alleged that a person put a child at risk of great bodily harm or death. Some examples of the types of situations that could lead to a felony charge include:
- A child has access to guns or other dangerous weapons within the home and injured themselves or others.
- A parent has a critically ill child and refuses medical care, faith notwithstanding.
- A child is left with an adult who is known to have a history of child abuse and is then molested or injured by the person.
- A child is left in a vehicle during hot weather and either dies or requires medical intervention to avoid death.
- Manufacturing or using illegal drugs when a child is present in the home.
- A child is riding in a vehicle with a drunk adult, who is involved in traffic accident. The child may not even have been injured, but the fact that the driver was over the limit and involved in an accident, it is believed the driver put the child at risk of serious bodily injury or death.
If you are accused of child endangerment, you are in a challenging and risky legal situation. The first and most urgent step, is to ensure you have legal representation from an experienced trial lawyer with an extensive track record of success in court. The first step will be a full review and evaluation of the facts in the case. Some of the defenses that may be employed include:
- False accusations: A child fell and was seriously injured at home. After being taken to the hospital, the treating doctor suspects the injuries are the result of child abuse and informs social services. Doctors, teachers, and members of the clergy are required by law to report suspicions of child abuse to the authorities and may misinterpret what they see, however well meaning.
- Wrong person charged: A person may be accused of harming a child or putting them at risk of serious bodily harm or death who was not caring for the child at the time the injury occurred.
- Mitigating circumstances: Some situations put the accused person in a position in which they were unable to care for the child, such as physical or mental illnesses.
- Rights violations: The authorities overstepped the bounds of the law in gathering evidence to support a felony charge.
At Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP, we offer our clients a level of legal assistance that is rarely found in any law firm. Rather than hiring just one attorney, your defense attorney has the full support of an entire team of legal professionals behind every action. One of our founders, attorney Mark Werksman is a former Deputy District Attorney and US Attorney and has been practicing criminal law since 1986. Partner Alan Jackson is a former prosecutor and Assistant Head Deputy for the Major Crimes Division at the LA County DA’s Office. Our team has an exceptional level of understanding of the criminal justice system, from both sides of the aisle, and has served as defense counsel in many high-profile cases in Los Angeles.
Call us today at (213) 688-0460 for a free initial consultation.
Recent Case Results
- Complete Dismissal of Molestation Charges
Attorney Mark Werksman’s 29 year old client was falsely accused of molesting two neighborhood children and was subsequently charged with felony child molestation, with a significant prison sentence hanging over his head should he be convicted. Instead, at the preliminary hearing Werksman was able to convince the court to grant his client a complete dismissal of any charges.
- Decision Set Aside
Client, a college student in a faulty Title IX case, was awarded $130,000 in attorney fees.
- Probation with No Jail Time for Drug Money Laundering Charge
Wilmington man accused in New York federal court of laundering drug money through the sale of laptop computers. Mark was able to get the case transferred to federal court in Los Angeles, where he convinced the United States Attorney to reduce the charges. His client was sentenced to probation with no jail time on a misdemeanor conviction.