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I was arrested for PC 271 child abandonment, what is this?  W  What if I'm not the real parent?  These are all common questions from individuals who have been cited or arrested for a violation of PC 271.  Read the following to learn more about PC 271.

PC 271 child Under 14 Years of age -- Abandonment

Every Parent of any child under the age of 14 years, and every person to whom any such child has been confided for nurture, or education, who deserts such child in any place whatever with intent to abandon it, is punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 or in the county jail not exceeding one year or by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by both.

PC 271(a)  Failure to provide for:

Every person who knowingly and willfully abandons, or who having ability so to do, fails or refuses to maintain his or her minor child under the age of 14 years or who falsely, knowing the same to be false, represents to any manager, officer or agent of any orphan asylum or charitable institution for the care of orphans, that any child whose admission into that asylum or institution application has been made is an orphan, is punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or in the county jail not exceeding one year, or by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000). or by both.

A lawyers perspective on this is that a it is a parents responsibility to care for a their child during the age of minority.  However, too many times the best parent can be charged with failing to provide when they have made every effort, or even provided.  The problems can be within the facts behind the criminal complaint, such as children who leave home and refuse to return, or turn away the assistance they have been offered. Other time the child may be suffering from psychological or emotional issues that cause them to withdraw from the family or refuse the assistance they have been provided.  Many times there are better approaches than punishing the parents for failing t provide, but instead working with he family to bring balance back in the family unit which allows for a proper home life.  (See PC 270 Child Neglect)

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