Unlawful Neglect of a Child in South Carolina

by | Nov 13, 2018 | Blog Posts, SC Criminal Defense | 2 comments

Unlawful Neglect of a Child in South Carolinaunlawful neglect

Unlawful neglect of a child in South Carolina – Usually, crimes involve intentional, purposeful acts.  However, there are also crimes that involve activity that is not necessarily purposeful, and those crimes usually involve some sort of neglectful or reckless behavior. When the crime involves a child, it can lead to serious consequences that have lasting effects.

There are several crimes that involve the care of children, and they vary by jurisdiction. South Carolina is no different.  In this blog, we will talk about unlawful neglect of a child in South Carolina.  This is intended for informational purposes only and does not substitute the advice and counsel of a criminal defense lawyer.  If you have been charged with this crime, you should hire a criminal defense lawyer immediately.

What is unlawful neglect of a child?

The charge of unlawful neglect of a child can occur when someone such as a parent or guardian has a child under their care and the parent or guardian behaves in a manner that puts the child at risk or get the child hurt.  This crime is governed by South Carolina title 63, Children’s Code.

When is this crime charged?

It is unlawful for someone who has custody of a child, or is the parent or guardian of a child, or who is responsible for the welfare of a child to:

  • Place the child in unreasonable risk or harm affecting the child’s life, physical or mental health or safety; or
  • Do or cause to be done unlawfully or maliciously any bodily harm to the child so that the life or the health of the child is endangered or likely endangered; or
  • Willfully abandons the child.

This means that the defendant must have had a relationship with, or duty to monitor and care for the child. This can result from a parental relationship, a babysitting relationship, or a day care situation.

Punishment for unlawful neglect of a child

Under South Carolina criminal law, a defendant who is found guilty of this charge is guilty of felony and must be fined at the discretion of the court, or be imprisoned for up to 10 years.

Additional consequences of this charge

In additional to dealing with the criminal consequences, a parent who is charged with this crime will encounter a social welfare agency that is dispatched to make sure that the child is in a safe environment.  This often necessitates the assistance of a family law attorney, to navigate through the process.   

Gilles Law has a York criminal defense lawyer that handles this and a wide variety of criminal charges.  If you have been charged with a crime in South Carolina, have been charged with a crime in North Carolina, or have been charged with a crime in federal court,  contact us.


  1. judith bongers

    I am being charged with physical neglect of my grandhilden while they resided in my home. was notified by DSS they they will be scheduling a court hearing in family court in SC….what am I looking at for jail time etc…my granddaughter resided with me and found her baby deceased in her bed in the morning…police claimed her room was dirty

    • Gilles Law

      For more information, feel free to call our office at 980-272-8438. Also, please note that these comments are public.


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