If a child does not support the allegation of child abuse, then that certainly puts the defendant in a good position but does not guarantee an acquittal. If it is also determined that the parent who made the allegation had a motivation to lie, such as for the purposes of gaining an advantage in divorce, then the defendant will be in an even better position to defend themselves against the claim.
We are often asked about admitting to punishing your child to police. Whether or not someone should admit to punishing their child in front of law enforcement depends on the facts of the case.
If the police show up at someone's door in response to an allegation of child abuse, then I would advise that individual against providing a statement, since anything they say could be mischaracterized and later used against them. The best course of action would be to have an attorney speak to the police on their behalf.
Legal Penalties for a Child Abuse Conviction
Some child abuse charges are misdemeanors and carry up to one year in jail, parenting classes, and various other potential penalties depending on the exact circumstances of the case.
Serious child abuse cases are felonies that can result in up to three years in prison and a number of other requirements. An individual's specific punishment will vary based on the circumstances of the case and whether they decide to negotiate a plea bargain or take the case to trial.
A judge could order a protective order that prevents a parent from having access to them. If it is alleged that both parents are involved in the abuse of their child, then the child could be sent to the dependency court in Monterey Park, Los Angeles, where they will provide the child with an attorney who will defend their rights.
Will Child Protective Services Take My Children?
Whether Los Angeles County child protective services will automatically take someone's children from them after they've been charged with child abuse will depend on the circumstances surrounding case.
Oftentimes, they will order the parent to complete parenting classes to ensure the safety of the children. If the individual who has been accused of child abuse is living with their significant other who has not been accused of child abuse, then the court will likely order the alleged abuser to move out of the home and will restrict their access until it is shown that they pose no threat of harm to the children.
Defenses Against A Child Abuse Case
There are several defenses that can be used in child abuse cases, all of which depend on the facts specific to the case. A defendant may deny the allegation outright or claim that what they did does not rise to the level of a criminal act.
Prior to anyone deciding how to defend themselves, they should seek the advice of an attorney. Contact our California criminal defense lawyers to review your case.