Penal Code 273d PC - Child Abuse
For those people who are charged with some form of child abuse, they obviously want to get an attorney who has handled these types of cases before to defend them because this crime is a very serious one that comes with penalties that cannot be undone.
The umbrella of child abuse as it relates to domestic violence in Los Angeles is big. It can take a number of different forms. For example, if someone is physically abusing or hitting or striking a child in such a way that is not reasonable, then that person can be charged with child abuse if the authorities find out about it.
This really gets into a murky area because many people still use corporal punishment or physical punishment to punish a child who has been bad or done something wrong in order to teach them not to do that anymore.
But you start to get yourself into a really dangerous position when you strike your child because if the authorities find out about what you're looking at, potentially a conviction, a loss of your parental rights – meaning you don't get your children anymore – jail time and a host of other punishments that can follow you around for the rest of your life.
Other Areas of Child Abuse Pursuant to California Penal Code Section 273d and Penal Code Section 270 have to do with neglecting your child – not taking care of them, not feeding them, not clothing them, not making sure they go to school – and a host of other things that could be defined as being abusive towards your child.
Also, being verbally nasty to your child and putting them in a position that's not in their best interest, depending on the circumstances and their age can lead to criminal charges being filed against you under a number of different theories and penal code sections.
Whenever it comes to children in Los Angeles, having practiced in this area of child abuse for the past twenty-five years, I realized that the courts and the prosecutors are going to pull out all the stops.
When I say pull out all the stops, I mean the prosecutors are going to do everything they can to protect a child, even if that means taking a child away from a parent who they believe is being abusive and not taking care of the child the right way and putting the child in danger.
So that's really what they are looking at. So, when we go to try to resolve these cases the solution is going to be twofold: one, making sure that we correct whatever problems there are in the mind of the judge and the prosecutor, the police, child services; and two, making sure that this never happens again – showing the prosecutors that we have a plan in place in the client is given a break and a chance to preserve their good name, their record, their freedom – that we will make this right.
This will never happen again. We won't bother you again. We're going to take care of the child. These are the type of things that have to be considered when dealing with these child abuse-related cases.
Legal Defenses for Penal Code 273d Child Abuse
Defenses in any case and specifically child abuse cases are going to spin on the facts of the case, meaning they are going to be developed based on the facts of whatever happened.
If a child is claiming something or someone who is a witness or a family member, or just a bystander – I've had cases where bystanders are watching a parent deal with their child and all of a sudden they are calling the police and making a statement, so the defense is going to be centered around what happened, who saw what, what's going on.
The first piece of the puzzle is we need to know what all of the allegations are. The second piece of the puzzle is I need to hear your version of events as to exactly what happened, and then the third piece of the puzzle is common sense and experience.
In other words, I'm going to put my years of defense work in having a complete package approach – worked for a judge, work for the prosecutors, and now as a defense attorney for over twenty years, I'm going to put that to work for you to figure out what the best course of action is.
I'm going to advise you. Okay, here's what we're going to do. Here's how we're going to handle things. Here's how the prosecutor will try to prove these allegations of child abuse and here's what we're going to do to counter it.
So, once we have decided that we're actually going to defend the case, the defense will be centered around a theory and your version of events that works, that makes sense, that can actually be a complete defense to the crime.
Then we'll do the investigation. We'll get together the questions and get together the strategy, so we can challenge the prosecutors if that's what we chose to do.
If, on the other hand, they have evidence that you did commit an act which is tantamount to child abuse, then we're going to try to work out some sort of resolution with the prosecutors that makes sense for your life, makes sense for your child or children, and so you can do what you need to do in order to move forward in a positive direction with your children and with your life so you get yourself out of the criminal justice system as fast as humanly possible.
Department of Children and Family Services
The wife's not going to do something when the husband is hitting the child with a belt or whatever the form of violence in, then you know what, we're going to have to step in, and sometimes the intermediary between that is the Department of Child Services and they're the ones where a lot of these corporal injuries and corporal injuries to a child come about – because in Los Angeles, the Department of Child Service, DCSFS, has a lot of power.
So, when they come in, they can pretty much do whatever they want. If people don't cooperate and agree with them and do what they say, they'll call the police out to back them up and the police will back them up all the way. Now you've got the police there, and you've got yourself in a very difficult situation.
So, I always say whenever children are involved, whenever rights could potentially be taken away, you've got to get an attorney involved – one like me who's been doing this for a long time and knows how to handle these cases – and they can help you make the right decisions.
In these cases where your children are involved, and you feel like you should be able to discipline them, and now you have to do that juxtaposition against corporal injury on a child and this Penal Code 273d.
Seeking the Best Possible Outcome On Your Case
So, what I have you do is, we sit down, we go over everything. You tell me what the allegations related to child abuse are. You give me your version of events, your story, and then we're going to decide what can be done. What are you looking at? What are you facing? What can we do to do damage control in this situation and get this matter resolved in the best way possible for you?
Are you being charged with child abuse? We understand the stress, the fear, and the dread you may be feeling. We can and we will help. Being charged with abuse of a child is a serious and difficult problem that requires the assistance of an experienced, aggressive, and skilled domestic violence attorney.
When a child abuse charge goes to trial, the jury often favors the child and that is why retaining our services as your criminal defense attorney is essential to your case. In a child abuse case, it is important to act quickly and intervene at the early stages of the process.
California Penal Code section 273d pc punishes corporal injury or punishment on a child. This crime is a wobbler meaning that depending on the circumstances and your criminal history, the crime may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.
Child abuse is specifically defined as the intentional infliction of cruel or inhuman corporal punishment or any condition resulting in a traumatic condition (a visible or internal injury).
Spanking is often excluded from child abuse laws due to the right parents have to reasonably discipline their children as they see fit.
As a matter of fact, spanking may be used as a defense to a child abuse charge, depending on the circumstances. If prosecuted as a misdemeanor, the maximum sentence is one year in a county jail and a $6,000 fine. If prosecuted as a felony, it carries a California State Prison sentence of two, four, or six years and the same maximum fine.
Our duty as your defense lawyer is to do everything we can to avoid these penalties.
We will assert any and all defenses applicable on your behalf. We will aggressively fight on your behalf.
We will do everything we can to get the best results on your behalf. If you are facing child abuse charges, do not waste any time and contact our Los Angeles child abuse lawyers for a free case evaluation.