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What Is Considered Child Abuse Under California State Law?



According to California state law, child abuse occurs when a child is neglected or allowed to remain in an unsafe environment in which they are being abused in some way or otherwise put in danger. The California Department of Child Services and the police will become involved in cases of alleged child abuse. In many situations, child abuse cases are related to domestic violence in the home.

California addresses the emotional and mental abuse of a child, although proving these cases can be difficult. In each alleged case, the authorities will consider the specific facts and circumstances surrounding the allegation and make a determination as to whether or not mental or emotional abuse is actually occurring, and how likely it is that they would be able to prove that beyond a reasonable doubt.

Are Parents Wrongfully Accused Of Abuse?

It comes as no surprise that children commonly sustain injuries through no fault of the parents, but unfortunately, there are some cases in which children do sustain injuries as a result of abuse. In other cases, children will be manipulated or coerced by one parent into lying about having been injured by the other parent.

More often than not, the parent who is pushing the child to lie will be doing so in an attempt to win a divorce or custody battle with the other parent.

In these situations, it is critical for a person to obtain a good criminal defense attorney who will turn the tide in their favor and prevent them from having the stigmatized charge of child abuse on their record.

Strategies To Defend Clients In Los Angeles Child Abuse Cases

If a child’s injuries mimic the symptoms of abuse and there is an allegation of child abuse, the first thing I will do is gather the accused individual’s version of events in order to get a clearer picture as to what actually happened. Once that has been done, we will develop a theory, bring to bear the facts and circumstances that support that theory, and if necessary, obtain medical experts who will support our theory.

If the circumstances call for it, then I will make use of medical professional and/or forensic experts in order to determine the nature of the injuries in question in a potential child abuse case.

These experts will be hired to review the police report, obtain a statement from the client, and evaluate whether or not the evidence supports the defendant’s innocence or guilt. This investigation is important, because the police will often conduct only one-sided investigations that fail to consider all of the facts.

If someone has been accused of child abuse but there are no injuries on the child indicating that abuse actually occurred, then that alone may or may not be enough to prove innocence; this will depend on who has alleged the act of abuse, what evidence that person has, and whether or not the child’s statements support the allegation.

These types of cases must be considered on an individual basis and sorted through with the help of a California criminal defense attorney. The sooner an attorney is contacted, the sooner they will be able to obtain the defendant’s side of the story and build their case.

For more information on Child Abuse Under California State Law, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 374-3952 today.

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Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ.

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