Penalties for Failure to Report and False Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect - Pennsylvania

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Failure to Report

Citation: Cons. Stat. Tit. 23, § 6319; Tit. 18, § 4958

A mandatory reporter who willfully fails to report as required commits a misdemeanor of the third degree for the first violation and a misdemeanor of the second degree for a second or subsequent violation.

A person commits an offense if:

  • The person acts to obstruct, impede, impair, prevent, or interfere with making a child abuse report, conducting of an investigation, or prosecuting a child abuse case.
  • The person intimidates or attempts to intimidate any reporter, victim, or witness to engage in any of the following actions:
    • Refrain from making a report of suspected child abuse
    • Refrain from providing or withholding information, documentation, testimony, or evidence to any person regarding a child abuse investigation or proceeding
    • Give false or misleading information, documentation, testimony, or evidence regarding a child abuse investigation or proceeding
    • Elude, evade, or ignore any request or legal process summoning the reporter, victim, or witness to appear to testify or supply evidence regarding a child abuse investigation or proceeding
    • Fail to appear at or participate in a child abuse proceeding or meeting involving a child abuse investigation to which the reporter, victim, or witness has been legally summoned

A person commits an offense if the person harms another person by any unlawful act or engages in a course of conduct that threatens another person in retaliation for anything that the other person has lawfully done in the capacity of a reporter, witness, or victim of child abuse.

A violation of this section is a felony of the second degree if the person:

  • Uses force, violence, deception, or threat upon the reporter, witness, or victim
  • Offers pecuniary or other benefit to the reporter, witness, or victim
  • Has a prior conviction for a violation of this section or a similar law

An offense not otherwise addressed above is a misdemeanor of the second degree.

False Reporting

Citation: Cons. Stat. Tit. 18, § 4906.1

A person commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if the person intentionally or knowingly makes a false report of child abuse under chapter 23 (relating to child protective services) or intentionally or knowingly induces a child to make a false claim of child abuse.