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Legal Information: Maine

Statutes: Maine

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Updated: 
January 30, 2019

§ 555. Endangering welfare of dependent person

1. A person is guilty of endangering the welfare of a dependent person if:

A. The person recklessly endangers the health, safety or mental welfare of a dependent person. Violation of this paragraph is a Class D crime; or

B. The person intentionally or knowingly endangers the health, safety or mental welfare of a dependent person. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime.

2. Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

A. “Endanger” includes a failure to act only when the defendant has a legal duty to protect the health, safety or mental welfare of the dependent person. For purposes of this paragraph, a legal duty may be inferred if the defendant has assumed responsibility in whole or in part for the care of the dependent person.

B. “Dependent person” means a person, regardless of where that person resides, who is wholly or partially dependent upon one or more other persons for care or support because the person suffers from a significant limitation in mobility, vision, hearing or mental functioning or is unable to perform self-care because of advanced age or physical or mental disease, disorder or defect.