Are you facing child neglect (Penal Code 270) charges in Los Angeles? Don’t panic. Tabibnia Law Firm is here to help you. In California, being accused of child neglect is a serious legal matter that falls under the broader category of child abuse. However, it’s important to note that not all forms of child abuse are considered neglect. If you’re found guilty of this offense, you could face up to a year in jail and have a lasting criminal record. Such allegations can come as a complete surprise and be deeply unsettling.
Finding yourself accused of neglect can be incredibly shocking. But remember, you do have legal rights and options for defense. Consulting with an attorney can be a vital step in navigating this difficult situation.
To initiate your defense, please contact Cyrus at (866) 713-2159, Los Angeles child neglect attorney at Tabibnia Law Firm. Your initial consultation is offered at no cost, so don’t hesitate to take the first step in safeguarding your rights and future.
Hire A Criminal Lawyer If You Are Charged with Child Neglect
At Tabibnia Law Firm, Cyrus Tabibnia possesses in-depth knowledge of the Southern California court system and understands how law enforcement agencies and prosecutors approach child neglect cases. With years of experience collaborating with investigators, prosecutors, and judges, he has honed the ability to thoroughly analyze cases.
The moment you reach out to Cyrus Tabibnia, he prioritizes listening to your concerns and understanding your unique circumstances. If you decide to hire the Tabibnia law firm, Mr. Tabibnia will dedicate himself to advocating tirelessly on your behalf. He will utilize his extensive resources, unparalleled experience, and personalized attention to create a robust defense strategy tailored to your specific needs.
Cyrus Tabibnia believes that every client deserves expert guidance, unwavering support, and a professional approach. By choosing him, you can benefit from our comprehensive advice and access to our network of legal professionals. He values open communication with his clients and will keep you fully informed about the progress of your case at all times.
Preserving your record, safeguarding your reputation, staying out of jail, and protecting your parental rights are his top priorities. By leveraging his expertise and strategic advocacy, he strives to achieve the most favorable outcome possible for you. Take the first step towards mounting a strong defense by reaching out to him now.
What is Child Neglect in California?
California law describes child neglect under Penal Code 270. If someone is accused of Child Neglect or Failure to Provide, they will face charges under this code. There’s also a specific law called the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act, which is outlined in Penal Code 11164 through 11174.3. This act provides a detailed explanation of neglect, especially in section 11165.2 of the penal code.
In California, child neglect is defined by Penal Code Section 11165.2 as a situation where a person, who is responsible for a child, either treats the child carelessly or harms the child in a way that puts the child’s health or welfare at risk.
These laws are formulated to protect minors from circumstances of inadequate care, supervision, or provision of basic needs.
What Are The Most Common Types Of Child Neglect?
The legal framework in California identifies child neglect under two primary categories: general neglect and severe neglect.
General Form of Child Neglect
General neglect refers to the failure of a caregiver to provide basic needs like food, shelter, medical care, and supervision, without any physical injury to the child.
Most Severe Form of Child Neglect
Severe neglect, on the other hand, entails situations where a caregiver’s negligence could lead or has led to significant physical harm or illness, or is willfully caused by the caregiver.
For a prosecutor to successfully prove that a parent is criminally liable for child neglect, three elements need to be established:
- The act must be done willfully, meaning the person acted on purpose or willingly.
- The accused person is the “parent” of the minor child. This term “parent” can apply to biological parents, adoptive parents, and sometimes, grandparents or other relatives. For instance, if a couple is living together and the wife has a child, the husband is considered the child’s parent. Similarly, if a child is conceived through artificial insemination, the woman’s husband is regarded as the father.
- The parent didn’t provide something essential for the child. Essentials are basic things a child needs like clothing, food, medicine, and a safe place to live.
- The parent’s failure to provide this essential thing was “willful and without a lawful excuse.” Meaning, it was done on purpose and there wasn’t a legal reason for this failure.
Child neglect could be an action or a lack of action by the responsible person. For example, not taking a child to the doctor when they are injured or sick can be seen as neglect.
Criminal Penalties For Child Neglect
Child neglect in California (Penal Code 270) is categorized as a “wobbler” offense. It can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances. While felony charges for child neglect are uncommon, they are more likely for repeat offenders compared to those facing their first accusation.
If anyone charged with a misdemeanor for child neglect, the consequences might include:
- Up to a year in a county jail in Los Angeles County
- Probation, and/or
- Fines up to $2,000.
On the other hand, a felony charge for child neglect could lead to:
- Up to a year in a county jail in Los Angeles or,
- A term of 12 months plus one day in a California state prison, and/or
- Fines up to $2,000.
The determination of whether the charge is a misdemeanor or a felony relies on the specifics of the case, like the extent of neglect, how the child was affected, and the harm caused. Additionally, any prior history of neglect, child endangerment, or other criminal records could influence the level of charges.
Collateral Consequences of Child Neglect
Having a criminal record for child neglect (Penal Code 270) can have enduring effects on various aspects of an individual’s life including future legal proceedings.
- The distress and shame associated with such legal predicaments can foster a hostile or emotionally charged family environment.
- Potential loss of custody or visitation rights concerning the neglected child or other children in the household.
- Securing or maintaining employment, especially in fields that involve interaction with children or vulnerable populations.
- Denial, suspension, or revocation of professional licenses which can be devastating for one’s career.
- Securing housing can become challenging as some landlords may be reluctant to rent to individuals with child neglect convictions on their records.
- For non-citizens, a conviction for child neglect could have severe immigration consequences including deportation or barring from naturalization.
What Offenses are Related to Child Neglect?
- Child Abuse – Penal Code 273d
- Child Endangerment – Penal Code 273a
- Failure to Supervise a Child’s School Attendance – Education Code 48293
- Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor – Penal Code 272
- Sexual Abuse or Exploitation – Various Codes
- Driving Under the Influence with a Minor in the Vehicle – Vehicle Code 23572
- School attendance – Penal Code 270.1 PC
- Domestic battery – Penal Code 243(e)(1) PC
Defenses in Child Neglect Cases
In California, if you’re charged with child neglect (Penal Code 270), it’s up to the state to prove your guilt. It’s important to note that being arrested or charged doesn’t equal a conviction. If you find yourself facing child neglect or domestic violence charges, having an attorney can be crucial in fighting these charges. Here are some possible defenses against child neglect charges:
- Sometimes accusations of child neglect may arise from a vengeful ex-partner, particularly during child custody battles. If you’re falsely accused, a good lawyer can help demonstrate the truth.
- A child might misrepresent events or use inaccurate wording when describing their home situation, which could lead to a misunderstanding of neglect.
- If your actions weren’t intentional or were legally justifiable, like if you’re a single parent juggling multiple jobs, the court might not deem you guilty of child neglect.
- Only the “parent of a minor child” can be accused of neglect. If you aren’t the parent, this could be a valid defense.
- If you are making genuine efforts to provide for your child but are falling short, it’s less likely for prosecutors to charge you, and even if they do, they might not succeed in proving neglect.
Defending yourself might seem straightforward, but having an attorney who’s well-versed in the relevant laws and procedures can significantly bolster your defense, ensuring the best possible outcome.
Can You Be Charged With Child Neglect If You Do Not Have Custody?
As a parent, you can still be held liable for child neglect, even if you don’t have legal or physical custody of your child. In California, there are two types of child custody orders: physical custody, which determines where your child lives, and legal custody, which involves the right and responsibility to make important decisions about your child’s health, education, and general well-being.
If you are divorced or were never married and don’t have a formal custody agreement, you may not have physical or legal custody of your child. However, simply not having physical custody does not excuse you from your responsibility to provide your child with proper necessities. If it is determined that your child has been neglected and their basic needs have not been met, not having physical custody will not serve as a justifiable excuse. It’s important to prioritize your child’s well-being and take the necessary steps to ensure that they have the proper care and support they require.
Speak With A Los Angeles Child Neglect Attorney Today
If you or a family member is facing child neglect charges in Southern California including Los Angeles County, Tabibnia Law Firm is here to help you. Los Angeles child neglect attorney Cyrus Tabibnia offers a free case evaluation. Call our law office today at (866) 713-2159 to take the first step in your case.