Child Abuse Attorneys in Orange County
Legal Defense Against Child Abuse Accusations
If you are a parent, you have most likely wondered at one point or another what exactly constitutes child abuse. Knowing what kinds of physical contact are acceptable, and which are unacceptable, can be very difficult to determine. It used to be that the parent decides: A parent who felt that their child needed a beating with a belt was not thought of differently than a parent who felt beating their child was wrong. In fact, physical punishment was widely accepted as an effective method of parenting.
These days, things are very different. Depending upon specific circumstances, the slightest of physical contact could result in a criminal charge for committing child abuse. Different states have different laws governing physical contact between a parent and a child with penalties and definitions of abuse varying wildly.
California’s laws pertaining to physical child abuse are somewhat average when compared to laws throughout the United States. Those facing criminal charges for committing child abuse are encouraged to contact our domestic violence defense law firm for a free consultation. There are several instances in which parents are falsely accused.
Contact us today to receive a free consultation.
Types of Child Abuse
What is considered child abuse can range from emotional, sexual, physical, and neglect. There are a number of different ways in a which a person can abuse a child. While some experts say that emotional child abuse is as damaging, if not more than, physical abuse, there is no question that all types of abuse can negatively affect a child throughout their lifetime.
The following are the types of child abuse:
- Emotional abuse: When a parent constantly shames or humiliates a child in any way, it can be considered emotional child abuse.
- Child neglect: If a parent consistently fails to fulfill their child’s basic needs, this is considered child neglect.
- Sexual abuse: If a parent or other adult engages in physical contact with a child’s genitals or coerces a child into creating contact with their own genitals, they are committing sexual abuse upon a child.
- Physical child abuse: A parent who physically harms or injures a child on purpose is considered physically abusive. The “gray area” is whether or not the parent was intending to discipline their child. If the purpose was to discipline, there are still instances in which discipline can go too far. In those cases, perpetrators can be charged and convicted for committing physical child abuse.
Penalties for Physical Child Abuse in California
There are several California laws governing the relationship between a parent and a child, but the one that governs cruel physical punishment and/or physical injury upon a child is California Penal Code 273D. Those accused of violating PC 273D face serious consequences. In addition to time in prison, those convicted could have trouble obtaining employment or seeing their children in the future.
Physical child abuse charges can result in a misdemeanor or a felony offense. The following are possible penalties for those convicted of PC 273D:
- Felony: Six years in California state prison
- Misdemeanor: Up to 1 year in your county jail
- Previous history of child abuse: More than 6 years in prison
What is Child Abuse Under PC 273D?
California Penal Code 273D governs acts of physical injury or cruel physical punishment committed against children. Unlike other similar penal codes relating to child endangerment, Penal Code 273D PC deals specifically with acts of physical abuse, rather than emotional.
There is a lot of misinformation currently available to parents attempting to act within the guidelines of governing laws.
The following are considered acts of physical abuse by the state of California that can result in a criminal conviction:
- Hitting a child in a way that leaves a mark
- Fighting physically with your child leaving marks and/or bruises
- Using a belt to beat a child in an attempt to discipline
Too often, parents who are simply trying to discipline their children in the best way that they know how violate California’s laws pertaining to child abuse. If this sounds like you, you may have a valid defense to help clear you of your charges. Regardless, speaking with a skilled California domestic violence attorney may be in your best interest.
What if My Child Falsely Accuses Me of Abuse?
With so many laws restricting the ways in which parents can discipline their children as well as the widespread information distributed to kids to help the abused get help, there are some instances in which innocent parents are accused by their children of committing child abuse. In these cases, you may have several opportunities to show that your child is lying about you and your treatment of them.
As a parent, dealing with false accusations of domestic violence can be its own battle. It can be very difficult to accept the fact that your child would do such a horrific thing, but don’t feel too bad, it happens. Hopefully, once your name has been cleared and the authorities are aware of what really happened, your child will likely have been taught a valuable lesson.
Children, especially ones in their early teens or teenage years, have a lot of emotion that they simply do not know how to deal with. Feelings of resentment can build up and become overwhelming, leading to really bad decisions.
An experienced domestic violence defense attorney will be able to evaluate the evidence for and against you to help expose flaws in the prosecutor’s case if you have been charged with PC 273D. In instances of false allegations, hiring a skilled lawyer can be extremely beneficial. Your innocence may likely rely upon the level of investigation and representation you have on your side.
If an attorney can convince a judge and/or jury that your child’s statements do not match up with reality, your charges may be dropped, and your case dismissed.
California PC 273D Child Abuse Defense
Those facing charges for physically abusing their child may be best served by contacting our Orange County child abuse defense attorneys as soon as possible. If convicted, you may be ordered to serve time in prison and stay away from your child/children. Depending on your type of charge, you may also be required to have your name included on California’s sex offender’s registry list.
Your case may have approaching deadlines. Contact us today to avoid making costly mistakes and find out what options you have available.
If you are in need of a skilled attorney to protect your rights, call (844) 807-8180 and a Law Offices of Randy Collins defense lawyer will provide you with a free case evaluation.