California law describes “child endangerment” as willfully causing, inflicting upon or permitting a child to suffer unjustified physical or mental pain upon a child. Additionally, if you are the parent, guardian or caretaker of any child and you willfully cause or permit the child to be injured or place him or her in a situation where he or she may be or is endangered, you violate Penal Code Section 273a (PC 273a).
If you endanger a child’s life under circumstances likely to produce serious injury or death, the District Attorney’s office has the option of charging you with either a misdemeanor or a felony – often referred to as a “wobbler” offense in California. If serious injury or death is not likely, a violation of PC 273a is a misdemeanor.
Penalties for a Child Endangerment Conviction
A misdemeanor conviction of child endangerment can result in a sentence of up to one year in jail. If you are charged with a felony, you face a potential punishment of two, four or six years in prison. You can also be ordered to have no contact with the victim while the child is under a “protective order.”
Licensed professionals also risk jeopardizing their ability to practice (e.g., doctors, teachers, attorneys, etc.) if convicted of child endangerment.
Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich want to share with you a recent success story illustrating why it is critical to hire our law firm to provide you with excellent legal representation if you are facing criminal charges.
Wallin & Klarich Helps to Protect a Client’s License to Practice Law
In 2013, Wallin & Klarich represented a licensed, California attorney who had been practicing for over 20 years. He was arrested and charged with child endangerment. The client went out for coffee and doughnuts one morning, leaving his 4-year-old child asleep in bed alone in the house.
The client returned home about 10 minutes later surprised to find his child out on the sidewalk a few houses down. A neighbor unfamiliar to the family was nearby, talking to a 911 operator.
Police officers arrived on the scene and ultimately arrested our client for felony child endangerment. The District Attorney’s office filed misdemeanor charges against our client. Initially, the prosecutor insisted that our client plead guilty to the misdemeanor, serve 30 days in jail, pay fines, serve three years of probation and complete a 52-week parenting class.
Our client was worried that pleading guilty would trigger disciplinary action with the California State Bar, potentially jeopardizing his license to practice law. Wallin & Klarich was able to persuade the D.A.’s office to dismiss the case on the condition that our client successfully complete a parenting class.
Our client completed the class and the case was dismissed. He was able to keep a clean criminal record and avoid state bar discipline.
Why You Need Experienced Legal Representation if You are Facing Criminal Charges
The law firm of Wallin & Klarich realizes that hiring a criminal defense attorney may be an expense you haven’t planned on. However, considering that the consequences of a conviction beyond the sentence itself can be devastating, it is always in your best interest to have the very best legal representation by your side if you are facing criminal charges.
Wallin & Klarich Can Help You Protect Your Professional License and Your Freedom
If you or someone you care about has been arrested on child endangerment charges, it is critical that you contact the law firm of Wallin & Klarich immediately. Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience successfully defending our clients facing a criminal conviction for child endangerment. We can help you avoid serving jail time, paying fines and losing your professional license. We may be able to get your case dismissed altogether.
We are dedicated to providing you with the very best legal representation. With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are familiar with the prosecutors and judges thoughout Southern California and will fight to protect your freedom and reputation. You don’t have to go through this alone.
Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free telephone consultation. We will get through this together.