September 10, 2014
A 23-year-old Westlake Village woman has been arrested on suspicion of selling heroin and a 32-year-old Moorpark woman faces possession-related and child endangerment charges for allegedly attempting to buy the heroin while with her 3-year-old daughter.
According to a news report in The Acorn, the drug arrest took place at the McDonald's on Yosemite and Highway 118 in Simi Valley. Officials made the arrest after conducting a four-week long investigation into heroin trafficking in the area. The 23-year-old woman faces charges for possession, sale and transportation of heroin. The 32-year-old mother faces charges for attempted possession of heroin and child endangerment. Her daughter was taken into custody by Child Protective services.
Child endangerment charges can result from a number of different circumstances. Under California Penal Code 273a, the crime of California child endangerment can occur when an adult:
- Willfully causes or permits a child to be injured;
- Willfully causes or permits and child to be placed in a dangerous situation; or
- Causes or permits and child to suffer unjustifiable pain or suffering
In a child abuse case, the child must suffer an actual injury. In a child endangerment case, however, the child only has to be put in a dangerous situation. Therefore, it is common for these types of cases to involve innocent parents who did not knowingly put a child in danger and did not cause the child any pain or suffering.
There are many different defenses to consider when facing endangerment charges. Legal defenses include proving that the so-called endangerment did not actually take place. Some parents are able to avoid a conviction by showing that their actions were within their rights to discipline their child or that they were falsely accused. It is sometimes possible to argue that the person responsible for the child was not the one who caused the endangerment.
It is important to consider all possible defenses for child endangerment charges in Ventura because a conviction can result in serious criminal penalties. A misdemeanor can result in up to six months in jail, a fine of $1,000, informal probation, mandatory child abuse treatment counseling and even a protective order that prevents you from seeing your child. Some parents are not even allowed into their own home after being convicted for child endangerment. A Ventura criminal defense attorney can help defendants fight the charges in court or negotiate for reduced penalties.