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NY Penal Law § 260.00: Abandonment of a child

The New York legislature has enacted several statutes meant to protect children. Crimes that involve children are considered among the most serious crimes. One such crime is referred to as abandonment of a child. Under New York Penal Law § 260.00 you could be prosecuted for abandonment of a child if you are the caretaker of a child who is under 14 years old and you leave the child with no intention of returning. A caretaker can be a parent, guardian, or anyone who has the legal responsibility for taking care of the child.


Daniel is a single dad of a 7 year old daughter. Taking care of his daughter has become overwhelming to him. One day he dropped off his daughter at a trusted friend's house, telling the friend he would be back in 3 hours. Daniel never returned. Daniel probably could not be prosecuted for abandonment of a child. Although he left his daughter with no intention of returning, he left her in a safe place with someone who was capable of caring for her.

Related Offenses
  1. Endangering the welfare of a child: New York Penal Law § 260.10
  2. Endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 260.24
  3. Endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person, or an competent or physically disabled person in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 260.32

Under New York Penal Law § 260.00(2) you would have a defense to a child abandonment charge if you leave a child with the intent that the child would be safe, or if you left the child with an appropriate person. It would also be a defense if you left the child alone, but you notified an appropriate person of the child's location. Another defense would be if the child is less than 30 days old.


As a class E felony, if you are convicted of abandonment of a child your sentence may include a prison term of up to 4 years, a probation term of 5 years, and a fine.

New York Penal Law § 260.00: Abandonment of a child

A person is guilty of abandonment of a child when, being a parent, guardian or other person legally charged with the care or custody of a child less than fourteen years old, he deserts such child in any place with intent to wholly abandon it.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Abandonment of a child is a very serious charge. If you are convicted you could be sent to prison for up to 4 years. If you are being investigated for abandoning a child it is critical that you have experienced representation. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with felonies and misdemeanors. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of crimes in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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