If you have been accused of child abuse, you need the most assertive, effective legal counsel possible. As a “wobbler” offense under California law, an act of child abuse can be punishable as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances and the amount of harm allegedly suffered by the child-victim. Being convicted of child abuse can be very damaging to one’s reputation, and can cause problems in personal relationships and potentially complicate legal proceedings such as a divorce or child custody proceeding. If you have been arrested for child abuse or think that you might be arrested due to something that has happened recently, now is the time to speak with a San Bernardino and Riverside domestic violence lawyer. You have the right to refrain from self-incrimination and the right to counsel, so it is important that you talk to a qualified criminal defense attorney before responding to police questioning. At The Law Office of Gregory H.Comings, we regularly defend individuals accused of child abuse and other domestic violence crimes, and we welcome the opportunity to meet your legal needs.
The crime of child abuse is defined under California Penal Code § 273d. Under this statute, a person can be found guilty of child abuse if the prosecution can prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant willfully inflicted cruel or inhuman physical punishment on a child and/or caused an injury to a child resulting in a traumatic condition. If the defendant is convicted of a misdemeanor, he or she can be sentenced to up to a year in county jail. If the crime involves injuries such as bruising, welting, lacerations, or internal injury, the crime may be prosecuted as a felony. A conviction of felony child abuse can cause the defendant to be sentenced to several years in state prison. In cases of severe injuries (such as broken bones or brain damage), an even longer sentence is possible.