The job of a parent is to protect their children and ensure they are healthy and safe. However, there are many unfortunate circumstances in which parents put their children in danger. When this happens, they can be charged with endangering the welfare of a child. These charges can result in severe consequences that have the potential to impact a person for the rest of their life. Continue reading below to learn more and retain the services of a Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney if you are facing these matters.
What is Child Endangerment?
The state of Pennsylvania defines endangering the welfare of a child as follows:
- “A parent, guardian or other person supervising the welfare of a child under 18 years of age, or a person that employs or supervises such a person, commits an offense if he knowingly endangers the welfare of the child by violating a duty of care, protection or support.”
- “A person commits an offense if the person, in an official capacity, prevents or interferes with the making of a report of suspected child abuse under 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to child protective services).”
What Actions are Considered Child Endangerment?
The following actions are the most common instances that are considered child endangerment:
- Driving under the influence with a child in the vehicle
- Possessing, using, or manufacturing illegal drugs while in the presence of a child
- A spousal argument that escalates to the point where the child is accidentally injured
- Leaving a child in an unsafe area or unsupervised
- Serving alcohol to an underage minor
- Leaving a child unattended in a vehicle
- Failure to seek medical attention for a child
- Forcing a child to live in squalid conditions
- Bodily injury due to unreasonable corporal punishment
What are the Penalties of Child Endangerment?
It is important to know that the circumstances of the child endangerment charge a person is facing can determine the penalties they face if they are convicted. Usually, child endangerment is a first-degree misdemeanor. This can result in up to five years in prison as well as a fine up to $10,000. If the behavior continues or is a pattern, the individual can face a third-degree felony. This can result in a minimum of three and a half years and a maximum of seven years in prison as well as a fine up to $15,000.
Contact our Firm
Attorney Newman has represented clients in Pennsylvania for over 45 years. If you need an experienced attorney to help guide you through the personal injury claims process or with any criminal defense matters, Attorney Newman is ready to help. Contact The Law Office of Neal E. Newman today to schedule a consultation.