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Introduced Version House Bill 4005 History

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H. B. 4005

 

         (By Delegates L. Phillips, Rowan, Fleischauer,

              Border, Lawrence, Guthrie, P. Smith,

                   Marshall and Poore)

         [Introduced January 8, 2014; referred to the

         Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]

 

 

A BILL to amend and reenact §61-8D-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to offenses for child neglect by a parent, guardian or custodian; making it a felony for a parent, guardian or custodian to grossly neglect a child which creates a substantial risk of bodily injury; creating a misdemeanor offense for child neglect by a parent, guardian or custodian which creates a substantial threat of bodily injury; establishing misdemeanor penalties for a first conviction and requiring those convicted to complete a parenting plan and parenting education class; increasing penalties for a second child neglect conviction; making third and subsequent offenses of child neglect a felony; establishing criminal penalties; and providing that a parent, guardian or custodian convicted of a misdemeanor is not required to register as a person convicted of child abuse or neglect.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That §61-8D-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:

ARTICLE 8D. CHILD ABUSE.

§61-8D-4. Child neglect resulting in injury; child neglect creating risk of injury; criminal penalties.

    (a) If any a parent, guardian or custodian shall neglect neglects a child and by such neglect cause said that neglect causes the child bodily injury, as such term is defined in section one, article eight-b of this chapter, then such that parent, guardian or custodian shall be is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 or committed to the custody of the Division of Corrections imprisoned in a state correctional facility for not less than one nor more than three years, or in the discretion of the court, be confined in the county jail for not more than one year, or both such fine and confinement or imprisonment fined and confined or imprisoned.

    (b) If any parent, guardian or custodian shall neglect neglects a child and by such neglect cause said child serious bodily injury, as such term is defined in section one, article eight-b of this chapter, then such that parent, guardian or custodian shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $300 nor more than $3,000 or committed to the custody of the Division of Corrections imprisoned in a state correctional facility for not less than one nor more than ten years, or both such fine and imprisonment fined and confined or imprisoned.

    (c) If a parent, guardian or custodian grossly neglects a child and by that gross neglect creates a substantial risk of serious bodily injury, as defined in section one, article eight-b of this chapter, or of death to the child, then the parent, guardian or custodian is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $3,000 dollars and imprisoned in a state correctional facility for not less than one nor more than five years.

    (d) If a parent, guardian or custodian neglects a child and by that neglect creates a substantial risk of bodily injury, as defined in section one, article eight-b of this chapter, to the child, then that parent, guardian or custodian, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, for a first offense, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 or confined in jail not less than thirty days nor more than six months, or both fined and confined. Persons convicted of a first offense under this subsection shall also be required to complete a parenting plan and parenting education class. For a second offense, the parent, guardian or custodian is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined no more than $1,000 and confined in jail not less than thirty days nor more than one year. For a third or subsequent offense, the parent, guardian or custodian is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $2,000 and imprisoned in a state correctional facility not less than one year nor more than three years. A person convicted of a misdemeanor offense under this subsection is not required to register pursuant to article thirteen, chapter fifteen of this code.

    (c) The provisions of (e) This section shall does not apply:

    (1) If the neglect by the parent, guardian or custodian is due primarily to a lack of financial means on the part of such parent, guardian or custodian; or

    (d) The provisions of this section shall not apply

    (2) To any a parent, guardian or custodian who fails or refuses, or allows another person to fail or refuse, to supply a child under the care, custody or control of such that parent, guardian or custodian with necessary medical care, when such the medical care conflicts with the tenets and practices of a recognized religious denomination or order of which such that parent, guardian or custodian is an adherent or member.

    (e) Any person who grossly neglects a child and by the gross neglect creates a substantial risk of serious bodily injury or of death to the child is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $3,000 and confined to the custody of the Division of Corrections for not less than one nor more than five years.



 

    NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to make it a felony for a parent, guardian or custodian to grossly neglect a child which creates a substantial risk of bodily injury. The bill creates a misdemeanor offense for child neglect by a parent, guardian or custodian which creates a substantial threat of bodily injury. The bill establishes misdemeanor penalties for a first conviction and increases penalties for a second conviction. The bill requires first offenders to complete a parenting plan and parenting education class. The bill makes third and subsequent offenses of child neglect a felony. The bill establishes criminal penalties. The bill also provides that parents, guardians or custodians convicted of a misdemeanor are not required to register as person convicted of child abuse or neglect.


    Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.



    This bill was recommended for introduction and passage during the Regular Session of the Legislature by the House Select Committee for Crimes Against Children.

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