Neglect or Endangerment of Child

Neglect or Endangerment of Child


609.378 NEGLECT OR ENDANGERMENT OF CHILD.

Subdivision 1.Persons guilty of neglect or endangerment. (a)(1) A parent, legal guardian, or caretaker who willfully deprives a child of necessary food, clothing, shelter, health care, or supervision appropriate to the child's age, when the parent, guardian, or caretaker is reasonably able to make the necessary provisions and the deprivation harms or is likely to substantially harm the child's physical, mental, or emotional health is guilty of neglect of a child and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than one year or to payment of a fine of not more than $3,000, or both. If the deprivation results in substantial harm to the child's physical, mental, or emotional health, the person may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both. If a parent, guardian, or caretaker responsible for the child's care in good faith selects and depends upon spiritual means or prayer for treatment or care of disease or remedial care of the child, this treatment or care is "health care," for purposes of this clause.

(2) A parent, legal guardian, or caretaker who knowingly permits the continuing physical or sexual abuse of a child is guilty of neglect of a child and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than one year or to payment of a fine of not more than $3,000, or both.

(b) A parent, legal guardian, or caretaker who endangers the child's person or health by:

(1) intentionally or recklessly causing or permitting a child to be placed in a situation likely to substantially harm the child's physical, mental, or emotional health or cause the child's death; or

(2) knowingly causing or permitting the child to be present where any person is selling, manufacturing, possessing immediate precursors or chemical substances with intent to manufacture, or possessing a controlled substance, as defined in section 152.01, subdivision 4, in violation of section 152.021, 152.022, 152.023, 152.024, or 152.0262; is guilty of child endangerment and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than one year or to payment of a fine of not more than $3,000, or both.

If the endangerment results in substantial harm to the child's physical, mental, or emotional health, the person may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.

This paragraph does not prevent a parent, legal guardian, or caretaker from causing or permitting a child to engage in activities that are appropriate to the child's age, stage of development, and experience, or from selecting health care as defined in subdivision 1, paragraph (a).

(c) A person who intentionally or recklessly causes a child under 14 years of age to be placed in a situation likely to substantially harm the child's physical health or cause the child's death as a result of the child's access to a loaded firearm is guilty of child endangerment and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than one year or to payment of a fine of not more than $3,000, or both.

If the endangerment results in substantial harm to the child's physical health, the person may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.


Subd. 2.Defenses. It is a defense to a prosecution under subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (2), or paragraph (b), that at the time of the neglect or endangerment there was a reasonable apprehension in the mind of the defendant that acting to stop or prevent the neglect or endangerment would result in substantial bodily harm to the defendant or the child in retaliation.


This information is not all inclusive, and because of the ever-changing nature of the law, is not guaranteed to be accurate.  This information, as well as additional information, is available on the Minnesota Office of the Revisor of Statutes .  For more information, or a review of your case, please contact Ascheman & Smith for your free review.  Law@AschemanSmith.com 612-217-0077




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