Child Abuse, Abandonment, Endangerment & Neglect

Child Abuse, Abandonment, Endangerment & Neglect

Child Abuse, Abandonment, Endangerment & Neglect

Penal Codes §270-273.75


If you or someone you love is being investigated for, arrested for, or has been charged with violating Penal Codes §270-273.75 (Child Abuse, Abandonment, Endangerment & Neglect) time is not on your side. Every second that passes is vital.  Likely, the Prosecutor’s Office has already engaged their professional team to begin building their case against you.  And, depending on when you’re reading this, they could be working against you as you’re reviewing this information. We strongly recommend that you contact an attorney immediately after learning about these charges, to help you build a strong, successful defense.




Child Abuse, Abandonment, Endangerment & Neglect encompasses a broad array of offenses that concern a parent’s or legal guardian’s care of their child. The purpose of the law is to ensure children are provided a certain basic standard of care by their caregivers, a safe environment, and are not needlessly exposed to hazards or risks that could harm them.


California Penal Codes §270-273.5 require that children be:


  1. Provided with necessary clothing, food, shelter, medical attendance, and other remedial care;
  2. Taken to school for grades 1-8;
  3. Allowed to enter into the parent’s home or provide alternate shelter


THIS IS ONLY A PARTIAL LIST. Failure to provide any of these services is a violation and is punishable as child endangerment and neglect.


California Penal Codes §270-273.5 require that children not be:


  1. Forced, coerced, persuaded, or enticed to violate a court order;
  2. Exposed to a circumstance that is likely to produce great bodily harm or death;
  3. Inflicted with unjustifiable pain or mental suffering;
  4. Placed into a situation that would endanger their health;
  5. Placed in a courtroom or vehicle for transportation to any place, in the company of adults charged with or convicted of a crime, except in the presence of a proper official;
  6. Inflicted with cruel or inhuman punishment or injury resulting in a traumatic condition;
  7. Sent to a bar, casino, brothel, or other immoral place;
  8. Exposed to any degrading, lewd, immoral, or vicious habits or practices;
  9. Placed in the care, custody, or control of a person who is habitually drunk


THIS IS ONLY A PARTIAL LIST.  Subjecting a child to any of the aforementioned situations or those mentioned in California Penal Codes §270-273.5 is punishable as child endangerment and neglect.


The Elements

Child Abuse, Abandonment, Endangerment & Neglect have various subdivisions and refinements that make listing each of the elements for all possible charges impractical. That being said, nearly all of them involve the following:


  1. The child in question is under 18 years of age;
  2. The accused was under the custody, care, and control of the child;
  3. The accused performed an act that deprived the child of a standard of care or placed them in a situation that needlessly endangered them.


Our office is experienced at finding which element(s) the prosecution cannot meet, or which elements are weak points in the prosecution’s case against you and may keep the prosecution from being able to prove you guilty of Child Abuse, Abandonment, Endangerment & Neglect under California Penal Codes §270-273.75.


Possible Penalties

California considers Child Abuse, Abandonment, Endangerment & Neglect to be a “wobbler:” a crime that can be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony, depending on the severity and the opinions of the judge. As you can imagine, the more serious the charge, the more serious the penalties you could face.


As previously stated, there are so many subdivisions and circumstances that listing all possible penalties is impractical. Most charges are considered misdemeanors, though many can be charged as felonies, if the circumstances are severe enough. Each of charges carry penalties that range from probation to life in prison. Please, give us a call so we can better understand your specific situation and give you the information you need.



The sooner you call our office the sooner we can hear the truth about what took place.  Depending on the facts of the situation, and whether you’ve called our office soon enough, we may be able to take the facts you share with us and meet with the District Attorney to keep charges from being formally filed against you.

If charges have already been filed against you, our office is experienced at going through all of the evidence line-by-line to find discrepancies and discover all possible defenses for your case.  As with all criminal cases, most defenses target at least one of the elements stated above.  Examples of defenses in a Child Abuse, Abandonment, Endangerment & Neglect case that we may be able to find in your favor include (but are not limited to):


  • ACCIDENTAL: The endangering situation was unintentional or accidental.
  • LEGAL FORM OF PUNISHMENT: The act was a legal form of punishment.
  • FALSE CAUSE: You did not cause the harm to the child.
  • NOT RESPONSIBLE: You were not responsible for the child.
  • WRONGLY ACCUSED: You were wrongly accused.


Each case unique and may be better suited to one particular defense over another. Always speak to an attorney about all of your options when deciding the defense that may be best for you.  Call the Law Office of James Hassey at 619-745-5555 at your earliest convenience for your FREE consultation.