Child Abuse Lawyer San Francisco, CA
It is against the law to cause physical harm to children, as a San Francisco, CA child abuse lawyer is well aware. With that being said though, what is deemed physical harm is up for debate. Corporal punishment is unlawful in the state of California, but how much punishment is deemed excessive? What if the injury was an accident? And what if the injury was not a direct cause of your actions? Since there are gray areas regarding child abuse, it is worth talking with a criminal defense lawyer about your situation. Allegations of child abuse should always be taken seriously, even if they don’t result in criminal charges, as there is a social stigma that can still follow someone just by being accused without proof or validity. If you have been accused of abusing a child, please contact us at the Morales Law Firm.
The crime of child abuse punishes the person who acted in a way that caused injury to a child. To be convicted of this offense, the prosecution has to show that certain facts were true, or in other words, elements of the crime. As a San Francisco child abuse lawyer explains, by law, corporal injury on a child has the following elements:
- You had willfully inflicted inhuman or cruel physical punishment to a minor. The definition of what is inhuman or cruel is actually not specified. What this means is that the interpretation of so is left to the jury.
- The injury or punishment caused the child to sustain a traumatic physical condition. Traumatic conditions are any type of wound, minor or serious, that resulted from the use of physical force.
- When you engaged in the act, you were not using reasonable discipline in your manner. This includes confinement, spanking, or sending a child to bed without dinner. But because there is no legal definition, assessing what is reasonable discipline or not is again left up to the jury.
In the state of California, child abuse may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or felony, based on criminal history and facts of the case. For a misdemeanor, child abuse may be punishable by up to $6,000 in fines and a year in jail. It is possible to get a misdemeanor probation for child abuse. At minimum, the term would be 3 years, which often entails conditions like undergoing mandatory treatment sessions, not contacting the victim, and at request random drug testing. If you have prior child abuse convictions, unless you completed serving your sentence many years ago, it could have an influence on the verdict of your case now.
If you need assistance after a child abuse accusation, now is the time to contact a San Francisco child abuse lawyer. Do not wait to consult with a criminal defense team until moments before your trial. You need a lawyer that can devise an effective defense strategy. The consequences for a conviction can be criminal and impact your reputation. Contact us at Morales Law Firm as soon as possible.