Adults in the state of California are expected to treat minors with a certain amount of legal responsibility. Adults who do not uphold their legal duties may be charged under California Penal Code Section 272: Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor.
Get information about all aspects of PC 272 with this article. You can go over the penalties for contributing to the delinquency of a minor right here. You can also focus on some common legal defenses with the professionals at the Simmrin Law Group.
Defining California Penal Code §272
PC 272 is used in California to cover two major types of criminal behavior, and both types are misdemeanor offenses with penalties of varying levels of severity. This legal code is therefore broken down into two major sections. Let’s go over the applications of both of these areas:
What Is PC 272(a)?
PC 272(a) deals directly with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. According to PC 272, individuals may contribute to the delinquency of a minor if they commit an act or fail to perform a duty that leads to a minor:
- Becoming a Dependent of the Juvenile Court
- Becoming a Delinquent
- Becoming a Habitual Truant
Anyone under the age of 18 is considered to be a minor in the state of California. You should also be aware that individuals must demonstrate criminal negligence or general criminal intent in order to face charges for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Speaking to an attorney quickly can help you protect your rights and start building your defense.
What Is PC 272(b)?
PC 272(b) can be used to prosecute the act of luring or transporting a minor under 21. This charge applies to individuals who:
- Intentionally Contact a Minor Under the Age of 14
- To Lure or Transport the Minor
- Away from Their Parents or the Place Where Their Parents Left Them
- Without the Parent’s or Legal Guardian’s Consent
Only adult individuals over the age of 21 who do not have a substantial relationship with the minor should be charged under PC 272(b). Adults who attempt to contact a minor for sexual purposes could be charged with seducing or soliciting a minor. Because of the broad scope of this charge — and the likelihood of it being combined with additional charges — it’s important to speak with an attorney before answering questions from law enforcement.
What Are the Penalties for PC 272 Charges?
As you can see, California Penal Code Section 272: Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor can cover a wide range of different activities. The two charges covered under PC 272 can also have harsh penalties. The exact repercussions vary based upon the specific charge an individual is facing.
Penalties for PC 272(a) Violations:
PC 272(a) is always treated as a misdemeanor by the court system. A conviction for contributing to the delinquency of a minor can result in:
- Fines of Up to $2,500
- Jail Time of Up to One Year
Penalties for PC 272(b) Violations:
Courts around Los Angeles can prosecute luring or transporting a minor under 14 as either an infraction or a misdemeanor. Infraction charges are generally far less serious and may result in fines of up to $250. A misdemeanor conviction can lead to:
- Fines of Up to $1,000
- Jail Time of Up to Six Months
Charges Related to PC 272 Violations
Note that there are a number of criminal charges closely tied to contributing to the delinquency of a minor in California. Depending upon the actions taken to contribute to a minor’s delinquency, an individual could be charged under:
- California Health and Safety Code Section 11361: Furnishing Marijuana to a Minor
- California Health and Safety Code Section 12702: Furnishing Illegal Fireworks to a Minor
- California Business and Professions Code Section 25658: Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor
Some individuals may also face harsher charges for taking a minor away from their parents. These charges can include:
- California Penal Code §207: Kidnapping
- California Penal Code §278: Child Abduction
- California Penal Code §278.5: Child Abduction By Depriving Right To Custody Or Visitation
Speak to a California attorney about how to address these potential charges, how they can be mitigated, and what your next steps should be.
Defenses for PC 272 Violations in California
You may have a number of possible legal defenses available if you are accused of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. A Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can help you go over your options, which could include proving that:
You didn’t Know a Minor Was Under 18
Some people look older than they actually are. If you were interacting with a minor as though they were an adult because you reasonably believed they were older than 18, you could be able to avoid a PC 272 conviction. However, the application of this defense is fairly limited and may not apply to related charges.
You Tried to Control Your Child and Couldn’t
Sometimes, parents and guardians do their best to make their children behave, but a minor behaves as a delinquent anyway. You may be able to build a case if the cause of the delinquent behavior was outside of your control.
To use this course of defense, your attorney can help you determine how to provide evidence that you attempted reasonable control of the child.
The Accusation Is False
If you did not commit the crime you’re being accused of or the evidence against you was mishandled, misconstrued, or gotten illegally, you can argue that the accusation is false or there isn’t sufficient evidence. A qualified attorney can evaluate the evidence, assess whether your rights were violated, and argue to have the charges reduced or dropped.
Speak with a Criminal Defense Lawyer about PC 272 Charges
You can reduce the odds that you will be convicted under California Penal Code Section 272: Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor by reaching out to the Simmrin Law Group now. Let our criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles offer you a FREE consultation today.
Our team can work on your defense after you complete our online contact form or call us. Take the first step to preparing your legal defense with help from the Simmrin Law Group.