Affordable Family Law Attorney Chico Oroville

Affordable Family Law Attorney Chico Oroville

Sunday, February 2, 2020

How Attorneys Fees are Set and Why this Attorney is Affordable

Most people, including attorneys, never tell clients how their fees are set.  That is, the "hourly" fee for all the legal work.

Attorney here will explain it to some degree. For sole practitioners, it's basically an accounting method for the most part. In order to meet living expenses, AND run an office, most attorneys need to take the basic office expenses plus what it takes to live.  So, if an office costs $1.25/ft plus triple net, plus shared security guard expense, let's pretend the office was 1,000'ft. So maybe $1,400/month just on having the physical office, not including any employees or other expenses. Before going further, I will say that in the mid 1990's, we had a very large shared office and our portion alone was over $1,500/month. You could drive a car through my office window, it was pretty big. Plus it was a corner office on Point West, across from the Arden Fair mall.

Then attorney would have to determine all of the employee expenses, including comp and any insurance; this can be very, very expensive. The office supplies, phone services, answering exchange, postage meter,cleaning costs, and whatever else needs to be obtained to run the office (expensive copier,utilities, internet, computers, expensive legal software, software updates, library updates, new legal code books, supplies,etc) Some legal software is exceptionally high in cost, and can run like $4,000-$7,000 per month/up. It depends what type of law you work on, and what caliber of software you are subscribing to, as software designed for will/trusts for example, is expensive to update.

Also, added cost for advertising, specialized optimizing tweaking, subscriptions to other legal information, website maintenance (that alone could be $1,000/month...)  Also, the cost of insurance is sometimes factored in. That can run $3,500/yr and up, usually far more if in practice over 10 years.

That doesn't include liability insurance for the office. Let's pretend the expenses using data above was used; without adding living expenses, we are looking at perhaps $4700-6700 with one employee who is a clerk. Then if we add in the attorney's living expenses, let's pretend it's $5,000 and assume there is no high "mortgage." is  As we can see, it ends up to about $10,500 in this example. In order to get the $10k, (that's breaking somewhat even--not profit)-- attorney has to figure out how many hours can be generated and billed. Plus taxes have to be accounted for, by estimating in advance, and sometimes paying quarterly.

If attorney worked 50hr per week, then attorney divides $10.5k by 50hr, and it's $210/hr but if only 40hr, then it's $262.  And that would be considered low by most California standards.

 Unless you are an attorney, you may have wondered how attorney fees are set. Years of experience usually make the hourly fee somewhat higher, as does specialization.

Obviously, the only way to earn a living is to have more clients, less expenses where possible, and not live beyond your means. This is not rocket science. Many attorneys don't pay $1,200 for rent on an office, and they don't all have hired help with 4 employees. For those that do, they probably can afford it. Sometimes personal injury attorneys can settle a very expensive case and if in the millions, will be set for some time.  For everyone else, any attorney not settling cases for millions, has to work to get clients, and if attorney is new to the area, it's even more work.

Even when one understands how attorney fees are set up, most litigants cannot afford the prevailing fees that attorneys charge. In knowing this, attorney (of this site) specifically has chosen to make fees lower for clients, and has often set up fees based upon the income of the client. This doesn't mean it is free, but it's certainly much, much less than the ordinary attorney. One of the only ways to operate like this, is to have one's living expenses be very low, and one's overhead to be much lower than the average attorney.

After much time spent paying for expensive offices, and overhead, attorney decided that to serve the general population, one must make sacrifices; therefore, attorney is able to work at an affordable rate while not compromising zealous representation. It is a lifestyle change, and very few attorneys will do it. But attorney has done it for years now, with no regrets.



Thursday, September 13, 2018

Does Family Law Involve "Winning" or is that Just Nonsense?

Seriously, don't believe for a minute that there is no winning or losing. Clients don't hire attorneys to lose their cases.

Sometimes clients want to spend money to make their spouse or the other party or participants lives a living hell, and money is not an object?  Or some may just want to get back at another, but at same time, try to get their own rights straightened out?

A good attorney will always ask clients what their goal is, what are they trying to get, what is motivating them, and can they afford to do more, less or inbetween; is there a possibility the other party will have to help pay fees?  Is there something the other party did that deserves the scrutiny of the Court?  Or have things just gone bad due to some turn of events?  Did one person commit a series of lies?  Are the kids being coached to lie about you? Is the difficulty of the cased based upon money, or people who are working to de-rail your efforts? Is one party guilty of severe actions that were set up purposely to ruin all the finances?  Was a secret source of income hidden? Or more than several sources?  Did a family member target you purposely to be difficult?

IN both family law, criminal and even regular civil cases, there are nearly ALWAYS participants that lie.  Nearly always.

And if there are financial issues, we seldom see everyone tell the truth or disclose everything correctly.  A good attorney will know what to look for or hunt down, especially if he/she has been out there as an attorney for decades. The experienced attorney will have a keen inquiry as to many, many things that are multi-faceted; the inexperienced attorney will lack that ability. In fact, attorneys lacking courtroom experience is common....as seen in this editorial:

 Plaintiff Attorney Francis Malofiy During Closing Arguments: Day Six

Plaintiff Attorney Francis Malofiy During Closing Arguments: Day Six

"The judge was paying close attention to Malofiy, because, as I said, Malofiy makes lots of errors, because he is young," Edwards says. "Look, he got very far for this guy from Pennsylvania; he got to L.A. federal court on a huge trial. That in itself is quite a feat."  http://www.rollingstone.com/music/pictures/see-inside-led-zeppelins-stairway-trial-with-courtroom-illustrations-20160623/defense-witness-robert-mathes-plays-guitar-for-the-court-day-five-20160623
                                              _________________________________________

Actually, many attorneys are not court litigators. Some are, but many are there only to avoid Court. Surprised?  Don't be.

Most criminal attorneys are used to actual litigation. Even high stakes civil litigation involves a lot of motion practice, and tentative rulings.

If a family law attorney has not done trials, then don't pick one that has not done trials. It is only by doing the trials that one can become good at it. Arguing an issue for five minutes is not trial work. Law and motion is not a trial.

A truly  honest attorney that can read people well, communicate, and yet understand a client who has not simply spelled out everything, is to be desired.  The ability to talk to clients on a personal level but with professional skill is highly desirable.  Most attorneys are very businesslike because they believe clients seek out that quality. Clients in a business may want that-- but in Family Law, most clients are not running businesses. Even if they are, they usually have financial people (accountant, tax person, financial planner,etc.) An attorney needs to listen very closely to clients so that he/she can steer the case properly.  If you find that your attorney is more interested in watching the time clock, or talking about non issues, you should probably get a different attorney. Just saying.
[Previously posted in 2017 on same site by atty]

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Sad Truth About Domestic Violence Restraining Orders California

IF someone files one on YOU--- the legal rules are already against you.

In fact if you can't defend against it, it's almost automatic that the same order will be lodged against you in 3 years, for the same thing. Oh, you say you didn't do anything new to bring a new DV restraining order?

 LOL-- you don't need to have done much.

According to the newest case published in California this year, First Appellate District, all the person bringing the DV has to do, without a showing of any further abuse since the issuance of the original order, is to file another DV TRO, even without any proof of any abuse during the last time it was issued.

According to the new case, the filer only needs to simply claim 
he/she has a reasonable apprehension of future abuse.

And according to the case, phone calls or texts can do this. Also in the case, the person filing the DV attested that the ex had abused her children, even if not her....that the ex claimed "children pay the consequences."

Well that one sentence alone probably would generate a new DV TRO, but the fact is even if that was not the case, the published case seemingly indicates that the facts of each case are not only super important, they are critical to begin with.

Many DV TROs  do not come close to meeting the standard required even for a new DV TRO but they are routinely granted.

Whether or not they would be "re-granted" after 3 or 5 years, is another question.  If you are in this boat and one is "re-granted" against you, get legal help, especially if you are trying to gain more custody or visitation.  Attorney herein handles both family law and criminal defense and a DV TRO defense pretty much requires one who does criminal defense work.






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fighting a restraining order

Friday, August 17, 2018

When Visitation or Parenting Hits a Snag?

Sometimes parents are placed on "supervised" visitation...while this is not the end of visitation, it surely costs time and money and does lessen one's time with the kids.

According to the law:

The public policy of the state of California is to protect the best interest of children whose parents have a custody or visitation matter in family court. Sometimes, based on issues of protection and safety, a judge will order that a child only have contact with a parent when a neutral third person is present during the visitation. This type of third-person visitation arrangement is often called “supervised visitation.” 
http://www.courts.ca.gov/1190.htm?_ga=1.195271524.991909301.1425664074

How does a parent get out of supervised visits and back to normal visitation?

For most parents, it is a process that will take time, patience and desire.  It does not go quickly but if the parent is doing it correctly, the agency supervisor will make good notations on how well you did and you may gain more time as the reports are good, credible and supportive.  If they are not good, then you will have an issue and should work on it ASAP. 
Read the Custody and Domestic Violence section for information and help if you have experienced domestic violence and are dealing with custody and visitation issues....

Also, be very aware that attorney has seen cases which end up being swept under the rung because the court is very busy and just assigns messy cases (quite often) to add attorneys to help both sides, but what actually can happen is that failure to READ the entire file with a fine tooth comb can mean the attorneys don't even see or FIND out that one party did have a TRO or DV order which was wrongly dropped, OR they don't realize that fake proof of service was used over and over???  These facts are key because lack of ACTUAL personal service is FRAUD if it was done purposely??  And attorney herein has seen such things done.  It takes awhile to see how it happened, but a fake proof of service can be proven by the person who never got served. It's not the easiest thing to do, but it can be done.

When you kids get taken because you didn't appear at a hearing, and you didn't have notice, you better run to an attorney who has some criminal law background/family law, it's faster in attorney's opinion. (Attorney of this blog has both family/criminal/civil experience in the law...)  
[Previously published in 2016 by attorney herein]

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Family Law Litigation Affordable Legal Help

Honest, down to earth Affordable Legal Help.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Should You Talk to CPS? Read This....

http://cpsdefense.com/ten-things-you-must-do-if-cps-knocks-at-your-door/ from Texas attorney Chris Branson..............CPS is just as bad in most states...........

excerpt from attorney Branson's site......................

ASK WHAT THE CHARGES ARE.
Most of the time, the caseworker wants to keep you in the dark as to what you have been accused of, despite being required by federal and state law to tell you details of the accusation at her first contact with you. 
Don’t settle for the answer of “abuse” or “neglect”. Those are categories, not details. You are entitled to know what specific acts you are accused of committing.
SHUT UP. SHUT UP NOW.
It is imperative that you not submit to a CPS interrogation before talking to your attorney. 
It is natural that innocent parents who have nothing to hide want to explain everything so that a reasonable person can see that there’s no problem here. 
But CPS agents are not reasonable. To them, the accusation IS the evidence against you. That caseworker is there to find evidence to support what she already believes to be true – that you abused your child.

If you say nothing to them, you have taken away their greatest weapon, which is their ability to twist your words

Attorney herein suggests that you not blurt out anything. If you do not admit or deny things, they will have to lie and say you actually said something.

Many attorneys won't work on CPS or dependency cases these days due to the way CPS handles things.  CPS cases should be handled like criminal defense cases---don't volunteer information without knowing what is really going on; if in doubt, do not say it.

IN fact, CPS is much like animal rights extremists--they want to take kids and animals away from anyone they can.................

Sacramento family fights seizure of child by CPS

Sacramento family fights seizure of child by CPS

Tortured Teen Represented By Demas Law Group Awarded $4 Million

Sacramento County agrees to pay massive settlement for failure to protect a teenager tormented by his caregiver until his brave escape
23 Jul, 2015, 12:00 ET from Demas Law Group, P.C.

SACRAMENTO, Calif.July 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The teenage boy who made national headlines after escaping horrific abuse by his caregiver will receive $4 million in a settlement with Sacramento County on behalf of Child Protective Services (Superior Court of The State of CaliforniaKyle Doe vs. Department of Health and Human Services, Child Protective Services, Sacramento County, et al., Case #34-2011-00101330).
Child Protective Services (CPS) social workers were accused of repeatedly breaking the law and violating protocol as they failed to protect Kyle, who was imprisoned, tortured and starved for seven years by his caregiver, first in Sacramento County and later in Tracy (Kyle's full name is being withheld because he was the victim of abuse as a minor).
"It's not just justice for me," Kyle said about the outcome of the case. "It's for other kids all over who struggle just like me."
CPS left Kyle in the care of a woman who was not a relative and never had custody, according to the lawsuit filed by attorney John N. Demas of Sacramento (please see below for a detailed list of CPS violations). CPS records also reveal nine separate abuse reports from teachers and neighbors, yet social workers failed to take action to protect Kyle. CPS failed to follow State mandates and their own policies and procedures, and left Kyle with a caretaker who brutalized and nearly killed him. He suffered immensely until his brave escape in 2008 from a home in Tracy to a nearby health club.  Kyle required skin graft surgery and spent ten days in the hospital. His tragic story drew widespread media attention and demands for CPS reform and accountability.
"This could be the biggest CPS settlement paid out in the state of California, which reveals just how poorly they handled Kyle's tragic case," said attorney John Demas, founder of the Demas Law Group. "We can only hope this lawsuit will bring changes to CPS. Our fear is that there are other 'Kyles' out there, suffering abuse that no child should ever endure."
Sacramento County attorneys tried repeatedly to have this case thrown out in an effort to dodge any responsibility for what happened to Kyle, according to Demas. Their legal tactics were rejected by the court, and Kyle prevailed after a four-year battle.
"We hope that the settlement spurs changes at CPS and sends a message that you have to follow the law and can't cut corners when it comes to protecting children," said Demas.
"The County did everything they could to win," said Kyle's aunt, Sydney Perry, who has served as his caretaker since his escape. "I'm just so grateful that Mr. Demas fought so hard for Kyle and held CPS accountable. Justice was served for Kyle."
As for the criminal case, Kyle's caregiver, Caren Ramirez, and her friends Michael SchumacherKelly Lau and Anthony Waiters are serving prison sentences for their participation in the abuse. Remarkably, Kyle does not express ill will towards the captors who relentlessly tortured him.
"I wish them the best with where they are at in life," Kyle said. "I hope they find their peace."
Kyle's story is now one of inspiration, as he recovers from his painful past and tries to piece his life together. After missing most of elementary, junior high and high school because his caregiver kept him home to conceal injuries, Kyle worked hard after his escape to graduate from high school. He is now a college student and football player. Kyle is eager to move on with his life.
"I'm doing great, I feel better than ever," said Kyle. "I'm healthy. I have a roof over my head. I have friends and I have family that love me. I'm happy with where I'm at right now."
Timeline and CPS Violations
The timeline below was derived from a collection of documents tracking CPS's handling of the case involving Kyle and his half-brother.
May 23, 2001: CPS receives a call that Kyle's birth mother has left Kyle and his half-brother with a family friend, Caren Ramirez. Kyle is 8 years old at the time. CPS investigates and closes the referral as "inconclusive," despite failing to contact Kyle's birth mother, as required by law. Instead, CPS accepts a one-page, hand-written note from Ramirez, allegedly written by the birth mother, giving her custody of Kyle.  The note is notarized, but it is Ramirez's signature that is attested to, not Kyle's mother.
April 22, 2002: CPS receives a report of Ramirez neglecting Kyle and his half-brother, and using inappropriate discipline (The half-brother was allegedly dropped off barefoot in Del Paso Heights and told to find his way home to Carmichael in the rain; both boys were also bringing cookies to school in place of lunch.) The half-brother is reported to have blisters on his feet, but Ramirez explains that they are from rollerblading without socks. CPS fails to contact the birth mother as required, and closes the referral as "unfounded," essentially labeling the allegations as false. In fact, CPS ends up assisting Ramirez by contacting the Social Security Administration and local welfare office and falsely confirming that the boys are "rightfully in Ramirez's custody" and that "Ramirez possesses a notarized note granting her custody." Ramirez starts claiming she is their aunt.
Feb. 11, 2003: CPS receives another referral regarding abuse of the boys by Ramirez, this time alleging that she smacked the half-brother in the face and that sounds of physical abuse (hitting) were heard coming from her apartment. CPS fails to investigate and closes the referral because no bruises were observed on the children. CPS fails to report the abuse to law enforcement and fails to determine if the children were at risk or in need of services as required by law. CPS documents following the referral state that "… the boys are safe and doing well in Aunt Caren's home. No evidence of abuse or neglect. The children are safe in this home. They have a chance to make something of their lives with Caren's influence.  She is a strong taskmaster."
March 7, 2003: CPS receives another referral of neglect and designates the referral as appropriate for a ten-day response, but do not investigate until twenty days later, in violation of State law.
June 24, 2003: CPS receives another report, this time from a teacher, describing Kyle as appearing very thin and jaundiced, losing patches of hair, with broken teeth and rarely bringing a lunch to school. CPS accepts Ramirez's explanation that hair loss is from a genetic condition (i.e. that "he's always had issues with thinning"), that he eats lunch earlier in the day, and that he is on medication that makes him hungry. CPS declares the allegations made in the report as unfounded, and fails to contact or give feedback to the mandated reporter (teacher) as required by law.
July 28, 2004: Kyle's half-brother is picked up by the police outside a local hospital, and gets placed temporarily in protective custody. However, Kyle remains at Ramirez's home. A CPS document acknowledges that "...without placement, one or more children will be likely to be in danger of immediate serious harm." CPS requests, however, that Ramirez be allowed to provide written consent for the voluntary removal of the half-brother from custody and to consent to family services for Kyle. State law requires that consent must be from the parent or guardian only. CPS fails to contact the birth mother as required. Had they contacted her, the mother would have demanded her children back based on a referral of this very issue shortly thereafter (see October 9, 2004 referral).
October 9, 2004: While Ramirez is receiving family maintenance services for Kyle and his half-brother, a referral is made by a nurse that the birth mother is reporting that a woman by the name of Caren Ramirez "took her children away from her a few years ago and won't give them back." CPS deems the mother's request for help in recovering her children not worthy of an investigation and closes the referral without conducting an investigation. No effort to contact or locate the mother is made as required by law. CPS also fails to report the kidnapping allegations to law enforcement as required, and never explains the reason the referral was closed.
Sept. 20, 2005: Kyle's half-brother is taken into protective custody due to physical abuse by Ramirez. He tells CPS that Kyle has also been abused by Caren for years, and CPS describes what has happened to Kyle as "seven years of ... physical torture, abuse and denial of the basic necessities of life." However, CPS does nothing for 15 days and by the time they begin investigating, Ramirez is in hiding. CPS fails to investigate the report in a timely manner, fails to report the allegations to law enforcement, and does not file a missing person report for Kyle.
March 28, 2006: A felony warrant for child abuse is issued for Ramirez, stemming from the alleged beatings of the half-brother. She isn't located and arrested until a year later.
May 30, 2006Sacramento County Sheriff officers respond to a report regarding Ramirez's abuse of Kyle. The call is made by Ramirez's daughter, who discloses Kyle's abuse by Ramirez and confirms there is no familial relationship between Kyle and Ramirez. Kyle tells the officers about how he was beaten with a martial arts stick several times, and the officers note severe bruising across Kyle's back, legs, and buttocks, as well as a split lip. Photographs confirm Kyle's injuries. The Sheriff's office then calls the CPS hotline to report the abuse, and ask CPS if Kyle should be brought into protective custody. CPS fails to make any record of the call. Instead, CPS tells the officer to make a placement decision about Kyle. Kyle is left with Ramirez's daughter, who promptly returns him to Ramirez. Sacramento Sheriff officers do not transmit a written report of the abuse to CPS within 36 hours as required by law. A referral for child abuse by law enforcement was not opened until 11 months later (March 2007) when the allegations are finally reviewed by a Detective in the Sheriff's office.
April 11, 2007: Ramirez is finally arrested and Kyle is placed into protective custody at the Sacramento Receiving Home. His case is assigned to a social worker with less than three months experience. CPS recommends that Ramirez have telephone access to Kyle, despite not completing an assessment regarding Ramirez's history with CPS, drug abuse or her actual relationship with Kyle. CPS allows Ramirez's daughter visitation rights. Despite wanting to stay at the Receiving Home, Kyle acquiesces to the urgings of Ramirez to leave. He leaves the receiving home the day of his court hearing as instructed by Ramirez, and returns to Ramirez who eventually takes him to Tracy.
December 1, 2008: Kyle escapes from a home in Tracy and flees to a nearby health club. He reports that he'd been chained inside a fireplace, beaten, burned and starved. He is hospitalized for 10 days for skin graft surgery.
January 7, 2009: Confirmation is made that Kyle's birth mother died in 2008. Kyle is placed in the care of an aunt and uncle, with whom he lives today, while attending school and continuing his recovery.
About John N. Demas and Demas Law Group, PC
Demas Law Group is one of Sacramento's leading personal injury firms.
The firm represents individuals and families injured in automobile and premises
liability accidents, as well as those harmed by dangerous and defective products
throughout California.  John N. Demas is the founding partner of Demas Law Group,
P.C., and has been representing injured victims for over twenty years. He has
extensive trial experience with several multi-million dollar verdicts, and has been
selected by his peers as a Northern California Super Lawyer every year since 2009.
In 2014 and 2015, he was also named a Top 100 Attorney for Northern California,
and made the Top 25 List of Sacramento Lawyers.  More information can be
found at www.injury-attorneys.com.
CONTACT:  John N. Demas, 916-444-0100Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150722/240253LOGO
SOURCE Demas Law Group, P.C.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Use Marijuana, Lose Visitation or Custody???

Parents, Marijuana Use and Custody in California

Could you lose custody of your children due to smoking marijuana?

In California, as of today's date, September 2016, marijuana is not a legal recreational drug, but can be used medically with appropriate adherence to the law.  Even so, most mediators have standard provisions that parents should adhere from smoking in presence of children, or sometimes even when the kids are under the control of that specific parent.  The "smoking" will generally cover most forms of tobacco (cigar, cigarette, vape, medical MJ, etc...)  And many times, smoking by third parties in the home may not be a good idea due to secondhand smoke.

In Butte County, a jury has previously returned a guilty verdict over an issue of whether medical marijuana is a defense (to child endangerment charges)--- the long contested case of  Daisy Bram, where allegedly, the lesser count of misdemeanor child endangerment was found (as opposed to child endangerment likely to cause great bodily harm)... Judge Glusman ruled that no valid evidence was presented as to the certified use of medicinal marijuana and thus it was not available as a defense. Ms. Bram was not represented by counsel, which obviously hindered her defense.

http://reason.com/blog/2014/03/07/daisy-bram-a-witness-in-federal-case-aga

Another related question would be if one instead ingested edible forms of medicinal MJ, would that mean if there was no second hand smoke then the issue would be resolved?  although that issue has likely not been published in an appeals case, it is a known fact that edibles are not exactly the same; the content can vary widely.

California’s marijuana edibles remain in food safety limbo

BY CORAL BEACH | FEBRUARY 1, 2016
California’s Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act has been in effect for a month now, but the state’s Department of Public Health hasn’t yet published or implemented food safety standards for so-called edibles. 

However, the Act didn’t give the department a deadline. It simply states “the state department of public health shall develop standards for the production and labeling of all edible medical cannabis products.”

Ironically, those who most need the medicinal properties of edible medical marijuana products are also among those most likely to fall victim to food-borne pathogens. 

People with prescriptions for medical marijuana edibles, such as cancer patients, often have weakened immune systems and may be at increased risk of developing infections from exposure to food-borne pathogens.

The edibles, which range from chewing gum to brownies, are not considered food or drugs under California’s existing Health and Safety Code. They are in legal limbo in terms of food safety jurisdiction.

The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) amended the California Business and Professions Code, establishing what sponsors said, was a comprehensive state licensing system for the commercial marijuana industry. An early version of the Act specified food safety procedures and sanitation requirements equivalent to the state’s Retail Food Code.

The food safety requirements included in the earlier version of the legislation were to be enforced by the state’s Public Health Department. Until the department develops and implements food safety standards for edible medical marijuana products, patients with prescriptions for such products will have to rely on the MMRSA’s minimal requirements for testing for peace of mind.

The Act’s requirements include testing edibles for foreign matter such as hair and insects and some “impurities” such as mold and aureus bacteria, aka Staphylococcus.

Common food-borne pathogens of Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria monocytogenes are not addressed in the Act.





Child Endangerment in California...

What is Child Endangerment in California?

Penal Code section 273a broadly defines the crime of child endangerment. Under this law, you could face prosecution whenever a child is under your care or custody and you:
  • Willfully permit the child to suffer;
  • Inflict unjustifiable physical or mental pain upon any child; or
  • Willfully endanger the health of a child.
If the prosecuting agency in your county believes that you are “endangering the health of your child” by smoking marijuana or growing it in a home where your children reside, you may face criminal charges. These charges may be filed as a misdemeanor or as a felony.
If convicted of felony child endangerment, you could be sentenced to up to six years in prison and ordered to pay a maximum $10,000 fine. A misdemeanor conviction is punishable by up to one year in county jail, up to a $1,000 fine, or both.
Additionally, allegations of child abuse or a child endangerment conviction could lead to you being listed on California’s Child Abuse Central Index which is the Department of Justice’s record of known child abusers.

What Does This Mean For You?

Parents and users of legally-prescribed medical marijuana in California need to be aware of the potential legal consequences and health-related risks of smoking and growing pot in a home where children reside.