Penal Code 270 PC

PC 270 – Failure to provide Child Care, or Child Neglect

PC 270 - Failure to provide Child Care

Failure to provide Child Care – Table of Contents

Failure to provide Child Care, or Child Neglect – Overview

What is the definition of failure to provide care under PC 270?

Any parent of a minor child who willfully, without excuse does not provide clothing, food, shelter, necessities, medical assistance or remedial care to the child that a person has custody over; or found to be in violation of not providing adequate care; or accused of child neglect by a civil or criminal court and refuses a lawful order to comply without a lawful excuse.

What is the definition of a parent under Penal Code 270 PC?

Parental rights include the right to the custody and the determination of the safety, health and well-being of a child. Those rights can be vested as a biological parent, assumption of duty, or by lawful court order. If a person lost parental rights over the minor child by a court, then Penal Code 270 PC does not apply. A parent can be a single person; but even if single by divorce, if parental rights continue to vest without court order, all parties must lawfully abide.

For references of current trends, a father who provides sperm to a single mother to birth a minor child without the assumption of custody or parental rights is still considered a parent.

What is a minor child under Penal Code 270 PC?

A minor is a child under the age of 18 years of age.

What is the mental state required under Penal Code 270 PC?

The mental state required under Penal Code 270 PC is willful. Willful is defined as purposeful. Therefore, a violation of Penal Code 270 PC requires that the neglect of necessities, remedial care, food, clothing, shelter, or medical assistance to a minor child is on purpose, and the purposeful act was done by a person having parental rights over the minor child.

What are necessities as defined under Penal Code 270 PC?

Necessities are the basic needs that a minor child requires for development to an adult. These things are food, shelter, clothing and medical assistance. These things must be provided by a parent.

What is remedial care as defined under Penal Code 270 PC?

Remedial care is spiritual access, transportation and access to avenues of relationships and general human interaction required to sustain developmental skills.

What is medical assistance under Penal Code 270 PC?

Medical assistance includes all things regarding access to services that can sustain the biological and chemical functions of a minor child.

Are there any exceptions for a person who has lawful custody of a child under PC 270?

Yes. If a person having lawful custody has taken substantial steps to find employment in attempts to sustain the necessities, remedial care, and medical assistance, and is unable to acquire the income to do so; and the custodial agent has taken lawful steps to demonstrate an inability to consistently sustain the needs of the minor child. This is a determination to be made prior to the intervention of the State to determine the best interests of the child.

Does abandonment qualify as a violation under PC 270?

Yes. Abandonment is the willful relinquishment of custodial duties, when they either have been assumed by right, biologically, or by court of law. It is not an excuse for a single parent, guardian, or custodial agent to allege their abandonment was the result of the discovery of a biological parent; or assent an agreement to another to do the same without a lawful court order.

Sentencing Penal Code 270

What are the penalties for a violation under Penal Code 270 PC?

A violation of Penal Code 270 PC is a misdemeanor. The first violation is punished by confinement in not exceeding 1 year in jail, with fines not exceeding $2,000 dollars. If it is a subsequent offense, after a determination of a violation of Penal Code 270 PC, the punishment is confinement of 1 year either in jail or prison with fines not exceeding $2,000 dollars.

What are examples of violations under Penal Code 270 PC?

  • Jack and Jan got married. Jan was divorced from a prior marriage and was given parental rights of her 10-year-old son. Jack for 2 years openly held Jan as his wife, and he the father of her child. The problem is that Jan was the sole income earner, and their local church supplemented the necessities of their child with transportation and medical needs. Not only did Jack not work but he refused to take their child to the hospital. One day the child fell ill, and Jan’s car did not start. Jack was sound asleep nursing a hangover. Jan tried to wake him up, but he would not get up. Jan attempted to call the church but was unable to reach them. Jan had to call a cab to take the child to the hospital. The child arrived at the hospital for care, but due to complications, and the delay the child sustained a coma. The nurses called social services. They did a complete investigation. Social services called the police to arrest Jack. Jack was arrested.

Defending Penal Code 270

What are the defenses to a violation to Penal Code 270 PC?

  1. Mistake in Law – the accused never acquired lawful custody, nor assumed custody of the minor child.
  2. Diminished Capacity – the accused does not have the mental faculties provide the obligations demanded for the minor child.
  3. Transferred Intent or Neglect – The party accusing the neglect contributed more to the detriment of the minor child by intending a crime to another, but the consequences of that crime resulted toward neglect of the minor child.
  4. Last Clear Chance – The accusing party had the last clear chance to better the child’s circumstance and decided not to act.

Need a Lawyer?

If you are charged with a violation of Penal Code 270 PC call The Esfandi Law Group. Contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Seppi Esfandi, principal attorney of The Esfandi Law Group.

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June 4, 2018
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