When strict or negligent parenting crosses the line, resulting in very real instances of California child abuse or California child endangerment, the punishment can be severe. It may include:
- Prison term of up to six (6) years
- Fines up to $10,000
- A possible “strike” against you on your criminal record
The definition of child endangerment under penal code 273(a) in California involves any action that a) willfully inflicts unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering on a child; b) willfully allows a child to suffer injury that could have been prevented; or c) willfully allows or causes the child to be in a situation where his or her health or body may be in danger.
Some examples of child endangerment may include, but are certainly not limited to, instances where:
- A parent strikes a child;
- A parent denies food or water to a child;
- A parent puts a child in a confined place, like a dark closet, for long periods of time;
- A parent leaves a child in a hot car;
- A parent takes a child into a dangerous place, such as a crack house.