New York’s Penal Law for Endangering the Welfare of a Child

In New York, there are two different subsections of New York Penal Law that identify and outline endangering the welfare of a child.  There are criminal punishments for adults who behave in a way which can potentially harm a child.

New York Penal Law § 260.10(1)

Subsection 1 New York Penal Law § 260.10 refers to any person who knowingly acts in a matter that is likely to injure a child, whether that be physical, mental, or moral welfare of a child, may be guilty of endangering the welfare of a child.  There are a plethora of ways in which one can endanger the welfare of a child which range from sexual contact, providing illegal drugs or alcohol, putting a child in a dangerous or precarious situation, or committing violence in the presence of a child.

New York Penal Law § 260.10(2)

Different from Subsection 1, New York Penal Law § 260.10(2) specifically applies to the child’s parent or guardian.  Since it is a parent or guardian who should make sure the child is always protected and provided for (including basic needs like food, water, and shelter), the parent or guardian may be charged with endangering the welfare of a child if he or she fails to provide, or refuses to provide, those basic needs to a child.  This can be known as the parent or guardian’s failure or refusal to exercise “reasonable diligence” as defined in the section.

What are the Penalties for Endangering the Welfare of a Child?

If you are convicted of endangering the welfare of a child, the penalties against you can be harsh.  A conviction can lead to losing custody of a child or you also be entered into a state registry of child abuse.

Kevin T. Conway is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Rockland County. Our legal team handles all criminal law matters, including DWI, drug charges, violent crimes, sex crimes, and gun charges for people in the towns of Clarkstown, Ramapo, Stony Point, Haverstraw, and Orangetown. If you need a consultation, contact our Spring Valley office today.