Under Sec 272 of the California Penal Code defines the crime of contributing to the delinquency of a minor as follows:

a) The commission of an act or failure to perform a duty;
b) That causes a minor or a person under eighteen years of age to become or remain:
a. A dependent of the juvenile court;
b. A delinquent or a habitual truant;

This legislation is applicable only to adults who contribute to the delinquency of a minor. This would only apply to minors when they themselves contribute to the delinquency of other minors.

Sec 272 (a) (2) of the California Penal code defines the duties and responsibilities of parents with regards to contributory acts to the delinquency of a minor. These include reasonable care, supervision, protection and/or control. The purpose of the law is help to safeguard children from harmful influences that can result in them becoming delinquents. The failure to supervise, control and protect their minor children that results in the children’s delinquency/dependency that could be liable for contributing the delinquency of a minor.

Sec 272 (b)(1) of the California Penal Code addresses “strangers” that reach out to minors under fourteen (14) years of age. This prohibition applies to adult stranger who does not have any substantial relationship with the minor who has only established a relationship for the purpose of victimization, such as persuading, luring and transporting the minor away from their home or location known by the child’s parents or guardians. Such act was intended to avoid seeking the consent of the child’s parent or guardian.

This criminal act is considered as a misdemeanor offense and is punished with the following:

a) Imprisonment of one (1) year in county jail;
b) Payment of a fine up to $2,500;
c) Up to five (5) years of informal probation;

If the individual is charged with Sec 272(b)(1), then the crime can be prosecuted either as a misdemeanor offense or just an infraction. When prosecuted as a misdemeanor offense, then the imposable penalty would be up to six (6) months in county jail and payment of up to $1,000 in fines. When the individual is prosecuted as an infraction, then the imposable penalty is a fine of $250.

The crime of contributing to the delinquency of a minor is a serious offense in California. Should you be or know anyone facing any of these charges, do reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today.