Yesterday two Santa Maria residents left their 4 year old daughter sleeping in their car as they went off to gamble at the Chumash Casino. After the girl woke up, she appears to have gotten out of the car and started walking around the casino parking lot, in search of her parents. Casino security was notified. Security personnel called the sheriff’s department who located the girls parents, Petra Zaragoza and Bulmaro Reyes. The two parents were promptly arrested on charges of felony child endangerment and booked at the Santa Barbara County jail.
Charges such as child endangerment generally carry special punishments which we do not see in all other crimes. The term of probation is usually longer than most other charges and the probation terms require mandatory parenting classes upon conviction. This is in addition to normal punishments like jail, fines or work service. Also, Zaragoza and Reyes will likely have to deal with the Department of Children and Family Services and cooperate with their investigation into the allegations of child neglect.
There may be a legal defense to the charge you are facing. There may be a way to avoid jail, reduce the charges from a felony to a misdemeanor or reduce the punishment significantly.
If you or someone you know has been arrested for child endangerment, child cruelty, or any other domestic violence related crime, call me, Attorney Jeffrey Vallens (888) 763-4340 or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org