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Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney
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Child Neglect Charges in California

As parents, we may feel as if we have the right to do as we please with our children, but the law says otherwise. By law, parents have a duty to provide their children with the necessities of life, such as food, shelter, clothing, and medical care, and this is regardless of their financial circumstances.

Often, a parent will have financial problems and they will have difficulty buying food or new cloths for their children. Some parents are evicted from their apartments and homes and forced to find a place to live. Regardless of a family’s financial circumstances, or whatever emotional turmoil the parents are going through, they still must provide for their children.

How can a parent provide for their children when they can’t provide for themselves due to economic circumstances out of their control? The first line of defense is to ask the government for help.

Families with children in Orange County have many resources available, such as food stamps, food banks, Medicaid, and other non-profit charities, some of which provide clothing for families in need.

While these resources are available, sometimes parents don’t take advantage of them properly. A parent may be “too proud” to apply for benefits. Or, they may receive benefits but fail to take their child to the doctor when their cold advances to bronchitis and then pneumonia. Others sell their food stamps so they can buy alcohol, cigarettes and sometimes drugs.

About Child Neglect Charges

Child neglect is criminalized under Section 270-273.75 of the California Penal Code. Under this section, if a parent willfully fails to provide their child with necessary food, clothing and medical assistance, he or she is guilt of child neglect, a misdemeanor punishable by:

  • Up to one year in county jail or a state prison, or
  • By a fine not to exceed $2,000, or
  • By a fine and imprisonment.

Often, a child neglect investigation is started after a concerned family member, a mandated reporter (teacher, doctor, and EMT etc.), or a neighbor places a call to the police or social services. From there, a social worker will begin investigating the family.

Parents, please be aware that if a social worker finds evidence of neglect, they can have your child removed from your home and either placed with a relative or a foster family until your case is resolved. This may be temporary, or it can be a more permanent solution.

If you are facing child neglect or abuse charges in Orange County, you need help NOW. Contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for a free case evaluation.