Los Angeles Child Abuse Attorney
Allegations of child abuse or neglect in California are harshly prosecuted and can result in severe penalties if a conviction is made. An often much-publicized crime, child abuse cases draw media attention in an amount that can influence not only public opinion but taint a jury pool as well. Consequently, when a person is accused of child abuse he or she may find themselves alienated from friends, family, and co-workers. Having a reputable, compassionate child abuse defense attorney by your side can help.
A child abuse conviction in California may result in a long prison sentence in addition to other penalties and consequences, including the degradation of a person's reputation and a strain in his or her personal relationships. In addition, a child abuse offender may lose custody of his or her children, lose his or her job, reputation, and liberty.
If you have been accused of child abuse, consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney is critical. Talking to law enforcement or family about the incident can make your situation worse. Having a talented child abuse defense attorney by your side can help in the negotiation of a deal with the prosecutor, put doubt in the minds of jurors, or even result in a dismissal of your case.
California Law and Child Abuse
California law defines child abuse as any act or acts that emotionally, physically, or sexually injure a child. Several California criminal laws deal with an act of child abuse, meaning that various types of child abuse offenses can carry various penalties and consequences. Below is a sampling of the laws that can come into play when you are accused of child abuse.
- PC 288 and 288.5 – Lewd and Lascivious Acts upon a Child. The most-often charged offense of all child abuse crimes, this law covers child sexual abuse and child molestation cases. Child molestation involves any lewd or lascivious act committed against a child less than 14 years of age which is done with the "intent of arousing, appealing to or gratifying the lust, passions or sexual desires of that person or the child." A lewd or lascivious action is defined as any touching of a child or a request for a child to touch an adult with an intention of arousing the adult who is with the child.
- PC 273d - Physical Abuse of a Child. This type of child abuse includes beating, inflicting cruel punishment, or inflicting corporal punishment on a child.
- PC 273a (a) - Abuse or Endangerment to a Child. This crime is charged when someone willfully permits or causes a child to suffer from unjustifiable suffering or physical pain. This type of charge can be made against anyone who cares for or has custody of a child in a situation in which a child's health or the person may be endangered.
- PC 261.5 - Statutory Rape. Engaging in sexual intercourse with a minor (a person under 18 years of age) who is not your spouse.
- PC 311.11 - Possession of Child Pornography. Knowingly possessing or controlling images, photographs, videos, files, computer generated images or other representations of children under the age of 18 simulating or engaged in sexual behavior.
Penalties and Sentencing of Child Abusers in California
The penalties and sentences handed out to those convicted of child abuse vary depending on the severity of the crime. Misdemeanor child abuse convictions may result in up to one year in jail, fines, and other lesser penalties; felony child abuse convictions may result in up to six years of jail time, hefty fines, probation, parole, and registration as a sex offender for life. In addition, when sexual abuse, physical abuse, or neglect is a part of the child abuse charge, penalty enhancements may be added.
R.J. Manuelian Offers Child Abuse Clients a Solid Defense Strategy
If you have been charged with child abuse, you need to try to put the emotional turmoil of the situation aside and locate an experienced, qualified child abuse lawyer experienced in dealing with child abuse defense. Since every case of child abuse is unique, a distinctive approach to the defense of a case is necessary. Whether or not you believe you are innocent of the charge, you are entitled to an impartial, compassionate, and vigorous defense strategy. The ramifications of a child abuse conviction are life-changing, so you want a defense attorney who is sympathetic to your fear of a conviction. R.J. Manuelian is an experienced child abuse defense lawyer with the skill you want when up against a child abuse charge. Contact him today for a free consultation about your child abuse allegation.