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Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor

PC 272(a)(1) Law & Defense

Information on the crime of contributing to the delinquency of a minor is found at California penal code section 272(a)(1).

Definition: In short, contributing to the delinquency of a minor means a parent, or a minor's legal guardian, committing an act, or failing to perform a duty, that allows or encourages illegal behavior by his or her minor child (under the age of 18), or that places his or her child in a situation that expose the child to illegal behavior.

Note: A minor's parent or legal guardian a duty to exercise reasonable care, supervision, protection, and control over their minor child. This includes protecting their minor child from dangerous situations, including allowing their child to commit illegal behavior.

PC 272(a)(1) Law

PC 272(a)(1): Every person who commits any act or omits the performance of any duty, which act or omission causes or tends to cause or encourage any person under the age of 18 years to come within the provisions of Section 300, 601, or 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code or which act or omission contributes thereto, or any person who, by any act or omission, or by threats, commands, or persuasion, induces or endeavors to induce any person under the age of 18 years or any ward or dependent child of the juvenile court to fail or refuse to conform to a lawful order of the juvenile court, or to do or to perform any act or to follow any course of conduct or to so live as would cause or manifestly tend to cause that person to become or to remain a person within the provisions of Section 300, 601, or 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, is guilty of contributing to the delinquency of a minor (Abbrev.)

PC 272(b)(1): An adult stranger who is 21 years of age or older, who knowingly contacts or communicates with a minor who is under 14 years of age, who knew or reasonably should have known that the minor is under 14 years of age, for the purpose of persuading and luring, or transporting, or attempting to persuade and lure, or transport, that minor away from the minor’s home or from any location known by the minor’s parent, legal guardian, or custodian, to be a place where the minor is located, for any purpose, without the express consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian, and with the intent to avoid the consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian, is guilty of an infraction or a misdemeanor.

Note: Express consent means oral or written permission that is positive, direct, and unequivocal, requiring no inference or implication to supply its meaning.

Common situations where a parent is charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor include: parent allowing his or her child to drink alcohol, smoke, take illegal drugs, or otherwise knowingly allows his or her child to commit illegal activity.

Note: A child who purposefully commits crime with his or her parent's knowledge is not charged as a co-conspirator to the crime of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.  However, a child could be separately charged for any illegal conduct in which the child engages that leads to his or her parent(s) being charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

PC 272 Penalties

PC 272(a)(1) contributing to the delinquency of a minor is charged as a  misdemeanor. If found guilty of PC 272(a)(1), the defendant could face up to one year in the county jail.

PC 272(b)(1) person over 21 persuading a minor (under 14) away from home without parental consent is charged as an infraction or as a misdemeanor.

Probation: A probation sentence is a period of supervision in lieu of an actual jail sentence. A probation sentence, with or without house arrest or work release, may be possible in conviction of PC 272 crimes. However, whether a probation sentence is allowed depends on many factors, including the defendant's criminal history and the facts of the case.

In addition to any jail or probation sentence (or both), if found guilty of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, it is possible for a parent to suffer any of the following punishments: fines and fees, restitution for his or her child's crime (payment to victim for financial loss),civil lawsuits, and more. 

Defense to PC 272(a)(1)

common defenses to to a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor include: emergency situation (where child is threatened with imminent bodily harm, emotional harm, or psychological harm), mistake of fact (as to the child's age in PC 272(b)(1) cases)), insufficient evidence, coerced confessions, and more.

If you have been arrested or charged with the crime of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, or PC 272(a)(1), contact out criminal defense lawyers today for a free consultation. Our experienced criminal defense lawyers are always ready to answer all of your questions and discuss your defense options. Call today!

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Criminal Defense Lawyers

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