Since endangering the welfare of children is commonly associated with child abuse, there are those that think it is only possible to be charged with child endangerment in Pennsylvania if intent or a deliberate action is involved. However, this is untrue. In Pennsylvania, endangering the welfare of a child can occur any time a child's safety is allegedly compromised while under the supervision of an adult.
This often results in a parent or other guardian of the child to be surprised when being investigated for endangering the welfare of children in Pennsylvania. Additionally, if you were reported by a malicious third party, you could be facing false or exaggerated charges. An experienced Philadelphia domestic violence defense attorney can fight to protect your future from the strict consequences that come with a child endangerment conviction in Pennsylvania.
Philadelphia Child Endangerment Defense Attorney
Joseph Lento founded his firm, Lento Law Firm on the values of customer service, dedication and perseverance he felt were missing from the Philadelphia justice system. He is dedicated to getting the best possible result in each case, and he works to ensure the rights of his clients are represented.
If you are facing endangering the welfare of children charges in Pennsylvania, Joseph Lento will use all of his skills and experience to build a customized defense and fight to increase your chances at a dismissal or other favorable outcome. For your free consultation on what Lento Law Firm can do for you, call (215) 535-5353 today.
Philadelphia Child Endangerment Information Center
- Pennsylvania Definition of Endangering the Welfare of Children
- Philadelphia Examples of Child Endangerment
- Penalties for Endangerment of Children in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Definition of Endangering the Welfare of Children
The definition of endangering the welfare of children in Pennsylvania can be found in the crimes code under 18 PA.C.S. §4304. This law states that any parent, guardian, or other person supervising the welfare of a child under 18 years of age commits child endangerment if he or she knowingly endangers the child's welfare by violating a duty of care, protection, or support. This law also applies to any individual who employs or supervises a person in charge of a child's welfare.
Additionally, a person can be charged with child endangerment in Philadelphia under this law if he or she prevents or interferes in an official capacity with the making of a report of suspected child abuse. Under this law, you can be charged with endangerment of a child whether only one act or multiple acts violated the law. Multiple acts will either be charged as a felony under course of conduct, or as multiple individual child endangerment offenses.
Philadelphia Examples of Child Endangerment
Endangering the welfare of a child is a more common offense than one might think. This is because any instance in which the safety of a child may be compromised could be construed as child endangerment, making it a relatively easy offense to be charged with.
Generally, the standard that the court uses is behavior an average parent or guardian in the same situation would reasonably believe was wrong or presented too much of a risk to the child. This is a broad term, however, so for guidance the following are examples of possible allegations relating to endangering the welfare of children in Pennsylvania:
- DUI with a child
- Possessing or doing illegal drugs in the presence of a child or children
- Allowing your child to ride on the back of an open-air motor vehicle, such as an ATV, without some form of safety restraint system
- Spousal dispute that results in accidental injury to the child
- Neglect of a child in a hot room for 24-48 hours with no water or nourishment
- Failure to seek medical attention for the child
- Squalid living conditions
Penalties for Endangerment of Children in Pennsylvania
The penalties for an endangerment of children conviction in Pennsylvania depend on the details surrounding the case. Generally, child endangerment in Philadelphia is a first-degree misdemeanor and comes with a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
However, if the prosecution proves beyond a reasonable doubt that this is a pattern of behavior – known as a course of conduct – the offense of endangering the welfare of children is a third-degree felony and you will face 3 ½ years of jail time and a fine up to $15,000. In either scenario, it is crucial to hire an experienced Philadelphia child endangerment defense lawyer to fight for your rights and defend your future.
Endangering the Welfare of Children Defense Lawyer in Philadelphia
If you are facing having your freedom, and possibly your children, taken away from you due to a child endangerment charge in Pennsylvania, contact Lento Law Firm. Joseph Lento will work side-by-side with you to determine the most favorable defense for your case, while fighting for your rights at court.
Time is critical in these investigations, especially when it comes to motions to dismiss evidence, so call (215) 535-5353 today to schedule your free consultation and see what Lento Law Firm can do for your Philadelphia endangering the welfare of children case.