Child abuse can take many different forms, including neglect, physical abuse, family violence, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse. The effects of abuse can manifest themselves immediately or remain hidden until unexplained symptoms reveal the effects years after the abuse took place.
Under California Penal Code Section 273(d), you could face up to six years in prison if you are convicted of felony child abuse. A conviction of child abuse can destroy your reputation, your family, and your freedom. Although California’s child abuse laws are aimed to protect children, it is not uncommon for the laws to be abused themselves, especially when there are false allegations of child abuse. An experienced California criminal defense can help protect you if you are being falsely accused of child abuse.
False Allegations of Child Abuse
Often times, accusations of child abuse can arise out of family or matrimonial conflict. It is very easy for a family member to accuse you of child abuse due to anger, revenge, or jealousy in connection with a child custody battle. Because children are impressionable, it is not uncommon for one parent to brainwash a child into thinking that the other parent is abusing them in order to obtain full custody of the child. An experienced attorney can raise specific questions and seek evidence that will effectively show the deficiencies in such allegations and may successfully prove that you are being falsely accused of child abuse.
Injuries Unrelated to Claims of Child Abuse
Injuries sustained by children can easily be linked to child abuse and are often used to show physical abuse occurred. Under California’s mandatory reporting law, professionals such as doctors, teachers, and social workers are required to report suspicions of child abuse. 1 If a professional sees a bruise or other injury on a child, the professional might be compelled to alert the authorities.
An experienced attorney may be able to show through medical evidence and testimony of medical experts that the injuries were not caused by child abuse.
Injuries Caused by Accidents
Under California PC 273(d), it is a felony to willfully injure a child in a traumatic way. 2 If you are accused of injuring your child, an experienced criminal defense attorney can successfully raise the defense that you did not intentionally injure your child or that the injury was not a result of your reckless behavior.
Parent’s Right to Discipline
Parents have the right to discipline their children physically through what is known as corporal punishment, so long as the discipline is reasonable. As a result, “spanking” (with your hand or an object like a paddle) when used as a means of disciplining a child is not considered child abuse under California law unless it is either unreasonable or excessive.
An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to raise the defense that the corporal punishment you used was reasonable and not excessive based on the circumstances.
Call Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or a loved one is being accused of child abuse, it is critical that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 40 years of experience in successfully defending persons falsely accused of child abuse.
With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich Southern California criminal defense attorney near you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.
1. [California PC 11164. http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=pen&group=11001-12000&file=11164-11174.3]↩
2. [California PC 273d(a). http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=pen&group=00001-01000&file=270-273.75]↩