Child endangerment, otherwise known commonly as child abuse, is criminalized by California Penal Code section 273(a). These cases are prosecuted vigorously and, although they can be filed as misdemeanors, prosecutors often file these cases as felonies.
A felony child endangerment conviction can land you in the California State Prison for up to six (6) years. Other penalties include lengthy felony (formal) probation, a fine of up to $10,000 and a possible “Strike” on your criminal record. Given these possible consequences, you will want the best legal defense available.
What Does the Prosecution Need to Prove?
You can be convicted of child endangerment if you willfully inflicted unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering on a child or allowed another person to do so, allow the child (or his or her health) to suffer injury or if your allowed or caused the child to be in a situation where his or her health or body may be in danger. However, criminal negligence can also result in prosecution for this crime.