As a parent, you always put the well-being of your child first. It is your job to determine what is best for your child's health and welfare. Even though it is your responsibility alone to make decisions for your child, others in your child's life, such as their teacher or physician, may have differing opinions on how you have handled your child's health care. If an outside party believes you have failed to seek timely medical attention for your child, you could face being reported to the relevant Pennsylvania authorities and facing legal consequences under Pennsylvania laws.
Criminal Charges You Could Be Facing
If your child suffers harm from failing to receive medical attention under your watch, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania can bring a few types of criminal charges against you.
Child Abuse and Neglect
Failure to promptly address your child's medical needs can lead to Pennsylvania child abuse charges under 23 Pa. Stat. Section 6303. Pennsylvania law defines child abuse as physical, emotional, and mental harm inflicted upon a child. If your child has been denied necessary medical attention, that action (or rather inaction) on your part can be interpreted as one or more types of child abuse.
Of course, you never meant any harm to your child and did not foresee your child's medical issues causing severe injury to your child. Pennsylvania Law acknowledges this requiring that you, as a child abuse suspect, must have acted "intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly" for your actions or inactions to constitute child abuse. This is a crucial defense the Lento Law Firm can discuss with you during your consultation.
Pennsylvania law 18 Pa. Stat. Section 4304 addresses child endangerment. The statute defines child endangerment as knowingly endangering the welfare of a child by violating a duty of care, protection, or support. Failing to seek essential medical treatment for your child could fall under this definition, particularly if your child has suffered serious medical injury from not receiving medical care in what is considered an appropriate period. This charge is serious; depending on the nature of the incident or incidents, you could face misdemeanor or felony charges.
Are You Facing Criminal Charges for Failing to Seek Medical Attention for Your Child?
Every family operates differently, and your reasons and justifications for not obtaining medical attention for your child at a particular time shouldn't be judged by another family's standards. If you are facing criminal charges in Pennsylvania for not getting medical attention for your child, you need to understand your legal rights and defenses.
Criminal charges against you can ruin your life, financially, professionally, and most importantly, destroy your family. Facing prison time and potentially losing the ability to parent your child are too high stakes not to take seriously. The Lento Law Firm's Criminal Defense Team has extensive experience defending parents in just these situations. Contact us today by calling (888) 535-3686 or by using our online contact form.