A Santa Clarita couple was recently arrested on suspicion of child endangerment and possession of a controlled substance for sale. Last week, deputies performing a probation compliance check at a Saugus home found several baggies of methamphetamine. They also found contraband associated with the sale of narcotics (usually, this includes items such as scales, small plastic baggies, rubber bands, and more).
According to the deputies, the narcotics were found all over the house, and their juvenile son could have found them. As such, child endangerment was added to the charge of possession of a controlled substance.
Child endangerment is covered under California Penal Code 273a PC and is described as wilfully exposing a child under the age of 18 to unjustifiable pain, suffering, or danger. It’s possible to be charged for placing a child in an unreasonable risk of harm, even if no harm actually comes to them. In this case, the fact that the methamphetamine was not locked away where the child couldn’t get it is probably why the couple was charged.
When there is no danger of great bodily injury or death, the crime is charged as a misdemeanor. The potential penalties include up to 1 year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. In situations where the child is at risk of great bodily harm or death, the charge is upgraded to a felony and the potential penalties are more severe. They include 2, 4, or 6 years in California state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Possession of a controlled substance for sale is covered under California Health and Safety Code 11351 HS. The law makes it illegal to possess controlled substances, including methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, prescription medications, and more, for sale. The crime is always charged as a felony with potential penalties including probation and up to one year in county jail, or two, three, or four years in county jail, and/or a maximum fine of $20,000.