Law Office of David P. Shapiro - San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney




2550 Fifth Ave Suite 1050, San Diego, CA 92103

San Diego Child Endangerment Lawyer

Child Endangerment Charges in San Diego

Prosecutors, judges, and the public at large take a hard stance against those who have committed crimes against children.  If you are accused of child endangerment in San Diego, you are facing severe criminal penalties.  Even an accusation of child endangerment can forever soil the reputation of the accused.  Parents, teachers, coaches, relatives, and other adults all face charges for child endangerment under California Penal Code 273a (PC273a).  If you stand accused of child endangerment, you need, and deserve, a quality, locally experienced, criminal defense law firm on your side of the law.  Do everything you can to protect your reputation and preserve your freedom.  Contact the San Diego Law Office of David P. Shapiro and learn how you can fight back against child endangerment charges.

What is Child Endangerment?

Child endangerment includes any activity which places a child at risk of physical, emotional, or mental harm.  Unlike child abuse charges, where actual abuse takes place, placing the child at risk of harm is the crime in child endangerment cases.  Actual injury need not occur for the police to make an arrest and for the prosecution file charges.  Examples of child endangerment can include:

Physical Abuse

Parents, coaches, babysitters and other adults responsible for children may face charges of child endangerment for allowing others to abuse children trusted to their care.  Placing a child at risk of physical abuse can result in charges.


Failure to care for children trusted under your supervision can lead to child endangerment charges.  This may include inattentive care, poor care, or by leaving children with unqualified caregivers (such as a sibling who, while older, may be too young for the role).

Alcohol and Drugs

Alcohol and drug consumption may contribute to criminal behavior.  This can lead parents or guardians to endanger children in their care.  Using drugs in front of children, and/or allowing children access to alcohol or drugs, can result in child endangerment charges.

Hot Cars

Cars can reach temperatures much higher than outside.  Kids left in locked cars can be at risk of heat-related illness and injury in a short amount of time.  Neither prosecutors nor the public care much if this was the first time you left your child alone in a hot car.  Punishment can be harsh if convicted.

DUI Cases

California boasts some of the harshest penalties for those convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.  Add children to the mix and the penalties increase substantially, usually involving actual jail time.  Transporting children in a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants can also lead to additional charges for child endangerment.

Other Factors

Child endangerment is often a component of other criminal activities.  It is possible to be charged with child endangerment for failing to report suspected child abuse, poor supervision, threats of abuse, and many other actions.

Penalties for Conviction: Child Endangerment

Conviction of child endangerment in San Diego and across California can lead to lengthy jail or prison sentences.  Depending on case severity, PC273a charges may lead to misdemeanor or felony convictions.  Those convicted of child endangerment may also face:

  • Probation or parole
  • Loss of parental rights
  • Classes and counseling
  • Embarrassing home visits
  • Restitution, fines, and court fees

An accusation of child endangerment can be extremely unsettling.  Gain confidence and peace of mind by retaining a quality, locally experienced, child endangerment law firm on your side.  There is too much at stake to do this alone or with one hand tied behind your back!

Defending Against Child Endangerment Charges (PC273a)

Suspicion of placing a child in danger of harm is enough for the filing of child endangerment charges.  The accused individual(s) must then defend against the charges or face severe criminal penalties if convicted.  A strategic defense will establish:

Relationship: Charges of child endangerment require the person to have assumed responsibility of the child.  This will often be the parents, but may also include grandparents, teachers, daycare workers, and others.

Intent: Intent can play a large role in determining the outcome of a case, but is not always required to be proven in these types of cases.  Neglect leading to child endangerment may be intentional or unintentional.

Danger: There must be sufficient reason to believe deliberate action or inaction resulted in an actual threat to a child.  For example, leaving a child unattended in the presence of a loaded gun.  There must be an actual risk of harm for charges to apply.

Child endangerment charges are serious criminal accusations with heavy penalties for those convicted.  When your freedom and reputation are on the line what can, or should, you do?  Start by retaining a quality, locally experienced, criminal defense law firm to be with, and for, you every step of the way.  The San Diego based Law Office of David P. Shapiro is extremely experienced in defending against child endangerment charges.  Public perception, erroneous police reports, and false accusations can all drive aggressive prosecutors to file charges.  If you have been accused of child endangerment in San Diego, each minute counts.  Do not delay any further.  Too much is at stake! Contact the Law Office of David P. Shapiro and begin structuring your defense today.


Client Reviews

Real Clients Share Their Experience

“We found ourselves in a tough situation with our child facing a strike felony with a sentence of up to 7 years. I made several calls to find an attorney we were comfortable with but had not made a decision due to not really knowing what was to come and how fast the initial court date was scheduled from the time of arrest. We went to the first court date with a public defender and later received a call from Mr. Shapiro’s office to ask how things had gone (I had mentioned our court date the first time I called their office). When I received that call, I had plenty of questions that were answered without rush. We ended up scheduling a time to meet to discuss the case. We found out that Juvenile cases highly differ from adult cases when it comes to how they are handled, decision making, trial etc. We always felt comfortable, he worked with us on legal fees and was always very responsive whether it be emails or phone calls. We never felt brushed off. Our child was released, placed on probation and given the opportunity to have the record sealed after successful completion. We really feel that Mr. Shapiro truly cares about his clients and I would highly recommend him to anyone facing legal issues.”

— Avvo Review