Endangering the Welfare of Children
Endangering the welfare of a child is a crime in Pennsylvania and occurs when a parent or guardian or other person supervising a child under 18 years of age, knowingly endangers the child by violating a duty of care, protection or support. The definition of this crime can be found in the Pennsylvania crimes code at 18 Pa.C.S. §4304. Endangering the welfare of children is a misdemeanor of the first degree (M-1) in Pennsylvania and carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in jail and $10,000 fine. This crime may be graded as a felony of the third degree (F-3) if the prosecution alleges and proves that there was a course of conduct, meaning that the behavior happened on several occasions.
The following are examples in which Pennsylvania courts have upheld convictions for Endangering the welfare of children:
- Drinking and driving with a child in the car;
- Doing illegal drugs or having illegal drugs around children;
- Failing to seek medical treatment for a child;
- Leaving a child in a hot room with no food or liquids for 24 to 48 hours;
- Fighting with your spouse and hurting the child on accident;
- Squalid conditions in the home;
- Riding your child on the back of an ATV with a helmet but no restraint system;
Protect Your Record and Reputation
Although, endangering welfare of children is a misdemeanor, you must fight vigorously against this charge. If convicted, most likely this charge will be on your record for the rest of your life. This charge carries a certain stigma that will likely make it difficult for you to find employment.
Contact Jason R. Antoine, endangering the welfare of children defense attorney if you or a loved one is facing this charge. If you have been charged, do not talk to police whatsoever. Contact my office immediately at (610) 299-0295.