California Child Abuse Lawyers Explain PC 273d

Do You Need a Child Abuse Attorney in California?

While various California laws protect children from emotional and sexual abuse, California Penal Code Section 273d deals specifically with physical child abuse. Under this law, it is illegal to inflict any cruel or inhuman corporal punishment or an injury resulting in a traumatic condition upon a child. However, California’s strict child abuse reporting laws often lead to hasty assumptions, causing many people like you to be falsely charged with child abuse.

A child abuse conviction can result in severe jail or prison time, as well as loss of your children and/or your job. If you have been charged with child abuse, you need to speak with an experienced child abuse lawyer from Wallin & Klarich. Our child abuse attorneys have been helping thousands of people like you who are facing these serious charges.

Read below to get more information on child abuse laws, or simply pick up the phone and call (877) 466-5245 for free immediate advice from an expert California domestic violence lawyer.

Why Hire Wallin & Klarich?

logosThe success of our child abuse defense firm has helped us achieve the highest of merits, including a 5 out of 5 AV rating on, a 10 out of 10 rating on, and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

The child abuse lawyers at Wallin & Klarich have helped many people like you facing these serious circumstances. Here are just a few testimonials provided by some of our previous clients who wanted to share their stories:

“I was charged with child abuse and a misdemeanor complaint was filed against me. I proclaimed my innocence and entered a plea of NOT GULITY. I sought the services of the Wallin & Klarich law firm who willingly took on my case. The firm provided me with the best counsel that they had on their staff. My Wallin & Klarich attorney set my case for Jury Trial and gave a tenacious and vigorous defense, which resulted in a dismissal of all the charges.

Wallin & Klarich attorney’s professionalism, care and concern for myself and my family throughout this ordeal, made me feel like more than just another client. They made me feel like I had a friend and advocate that would fight for me with every available resource. Which proved true in the end as I was exonerated. My attorney is most certainly an asset to the partners at Wallin & Klarich. I will highly recommend their services to anyone who inquires about hiring an attorney.”

-I. J. W.

“I was charged with corporal injury to a child. I hired Wallin & Klarich to represent me and attorney Wallin & Klarich got all charges against me dismissed because the district attorney violated my speedy trial rights. I would recommend Wallin & Klarich to anyone who feels that their rights have been violated.”

-C. S.

“I was charged with child annoyance, which required registration and possible jail time. I was very thankful at the whole outcome. WK met my expectations. I was very happy with the outcome and my attorney. I am very happy with the outcome since I do not have to register and there is no jail time, with charges reduced. I would definitely recommend WK to anyone else.”


Call Wallin & Klarich Today

You can place your trust in Wallin & Klarich. Our knowledgeable California child abuse defense lawyers are committed to defending your rights and your freedom. Call us today for immediate help on your child abuse case.

For more information on child abuse laws, read below or simply pick up the phone and speak to one of our skilled child abuse defense attorneys today.

Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free telephone consultation.


Prosecution of Corporal Injury on a Child

In order for you to be convicted of corporal injury on a child under PC 273d, the prosecution will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt all of the following:

  • You willfully inflicted cruel or inhuman physical punishment or injury;
  • That injury or punishment caused a traumatic physical condition; and
  • You were not disciplining the child in a reasonable manner.

The prosecutor must also prove that:

  • The traumatic condition was the “natural and probable consequence” of the physical punishment
  • The traumatic condition was “a direct and substantial factor” in the cause of the injury, and
  • The traumatic physical condition would not have occurred without the physical punishment/injury.1

Sentencing and Punishment for Corporal Injury on a Child – California Penal Code Section 273d

JAIL for corporal injury on child

In California, corporal injury on a child can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor.

If you are convicted of misdemeanor corporal injury of a child under California Penal Code Section 273d you face:

  • Up to 364 days in county jail;
  • A fine of up to $6,000; or
  • Both a sentence and fine.

For a felony conviction of corporal injury on a child, you face:

  • Two, four, or six years in state prison;
  • A fine of up to $6,000; or
  • Both a sentence and fine

If you have a prior child abuse conviction within the past 10 years, a four-year enhancement can be added to your sentence. This means that you could serve up to five years in jail for a misdemeanor conviction and up to 10 years in prison for a felony conviction. However, if you completed serving a prison sentence for child abuse over 10 years ago and you have not been sentenced to jail for any felony conviction during those 10 years, your prior convictions cannot be used against you.2

The court could also issue a protective order for the child that could strip your custody rights and even visitation of your child. In addition, you may be required to register on the Child Abuse Central Index.

Defenses to Allegations of Corporal Injury on a Child

child abuse attorney
A skilled child abuse defense attorney can employ several defenses on your behalf

False Allegations – Sometimes a person, including the child, may accuse you of child abuse even though it is not true. An experienced criminal defense attorney will know how to investigate these false claims and develop a defense strategy to challenge the validity of these claims.

Accidental Injury – California has a mandatory reporting law that requires doctors, teachers, coaches, and nurses, as well as others, to report any suspicious injuries. Accidental injuries occur all the time, and your criminal defense attorney will review the details of the case to defend you against these types of charges. Accidental injuries or questionable marks are not grounds for a conviction of corporal injury of a child.

Reasonable Discipline – In order for a conviction of corporal injury on a child, the prosecution must prove that you intentionally caused traumatic physical injury, such as welts or bruises because you were inflicting cruel or inhuman punishment. If you were reasonably disciplining (e.g. spanking) your child, you should not be found guilty of corporal injury upon a child. However, you will need a skilled criminal defense attorney to help you avoid being convicted of this crime.

Frequently Asked Questions About Corporal Injury on a Child

We often receive questions from clients facing these charges. Here are some of the most common questions we receive:

Does California Penal Code Section 273d make spanking illegal?

No, the law allows for reasonable discipline, such as spanking, so long as the spanking is reasonable, is not cruel or inhuman, and it does not cause traumatic injury such as bruises or welts.

I was horsing around with my son and accidentally injured him. Could I be charged with corporal injury on a child?

One of the elements of the crime that must be proven by the prosecution for a conviction is “willful” intent. If you were playing with your son and accidentally injured him, your attorney will be able to use this as a defense.

My child’s teacher told the authorities she suspected child abuse because of bruises on my son. Could I be charged with corporal injury on a child? 

Because teachers are required to report any suspicious injuries to the authorities, this type of situation is becoming more common. Investigations into the allegations will occur, and then the decision will be made whether to press charges against you for corporal injury on a child. Your criminal defense attorney can help you during the investigation and with any charges that may arise.

I have been falsely accused of corporal injury on a child, how do I fight the charges?

If you have been falsely accused of corporal injury on a child, contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Experienced child abuse defense attorneys can review your case, gather evidence and testimony, and develop a strong defense strategy

Call Wallin & Klarich Today

child abuse attorney
Contact us today so we can help you get your children and your freedom back

If you or a loved one has been charged with corporal injury on a child under California Penal Code Section 273d, it is crucial that you contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. Our skilled attorneys have over 40 years of experience successfully defending those charged with child abuse crimes. We will analyze the facts of your case and plan a defense strategy that will help you get the very best outcome possible in your case.

With offices located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.

Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5425 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.



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