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What are the penalties for two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Harrisburg, PA |

Two children, both under the age of 3, were left home alone for an extended period of time under a guardians supervision. The guardian that was charged also has multiple misdemeanor (two DUI, drug possession) convictions, and 1 felony burglary conviction. Will prior criminal convictions aid in determining the sentence for the endangerment charges?

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Attorney answers 4


Unfortunately, the site listed your question as a child abuse question when it's really a criminal law question. Try asking it again, but this time say something like "What are the criminal penalties for ..." or "What are the penalties for the crime of..." Hopefully the site will pick it up as a criminal law question and lawyers with expertise in that area will see it.

Be sure to click Best Answer if you found this helpful. Disclaimer: Please note that this response does not in any way an attorney-client relationship between Kathryn L. Hilbush and the recipient. My responses are general in nature. They do not constitute legal advice. You are advised to consult an attorney regarding this and any other legal matters.


This is a criminal law question. Such penalties vary from state to state. You need to contact a local criminal attorney. If you can afford an attorney the Court will usually appoint an attorney to represent you. As well, there may be a local Legal Aid Foundation that can assist or a Pro Bono attorney through your State of local bar association.

Good Luck

The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. I am only licensed in the State of California and I am not providing you with specific legal advice. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Being general in nature, the information provided may not apply to any specific factual and/or legal set of circumstances and/or the jurisdiction where you reside. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. The information provided is of a general nature is not intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Your question, although you may believe is simple, it is not simple. You require legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.


In Pennsylvania, a person's prior record will impact the sentencing guideline range, which the DA/Court must consider in fashioning an appropriate sentence. The sentencing guideline range is based upon the person's prior record score (which is a calculation based upon prior convictions at the time of the current offense) and the offense gravity score (which is essentially a numerical ranking of the "gravity" of criminal offenses from 1-14). PA's basic sentencing guideline matrix can be found online.


Prior criminal convictions will play a role in computing the sentence for these new charges, but without more details than are currently available it's impossible to say what the sentencing guideline result would be. Endangering the welfare of a child can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts, and sentences can range from probation all the way up to three or more years in jail depending on the way the prior record is scored.

For more detail, the defendant in this case will need to consult a local defense attorney. My office is in Lancaster, but I practice in Dauphin County and offer free consultations.

This answer does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.