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Defending People Against Child Abuse Charges

A child abuse conviction can devastate a family. In California, child abuse carries a potential state prison term of up to six years. Even if granted probation, a child abuse conviction can have long-term consequences, including preventing you from seeing your children or returning to the family home.

Child abuse in California is governed by Penal Code Section 273a, which states in part:

If a person is convicted of violating this section and probation is granted, the court shall require the following minimum conditions of probation:

  • A mandatory minimum period of probation of 48 months.
  • A criminal court protective order protecting the victim from further acts of violence or threats, and, if appropriate, residence exclusion or stay-away conditions.
  • Successful completion of no less than one year of a child abuser’s treatment counseling program approved by the probation department. The defendant shall be ordered to begin participation in the program immediately upon the grant of probation. The counseling program shall meet the criteria specified in Section 273.1. The defendant shall produce documentation of program enrollment to the court within 30 days of enrollment, along with quarterly progress reports.
  • The terms of probation for offenders shall not be lifted until all reasonable fees due to the counseling program have been paid in full, but in no case shall probation be extended beyond the term provided in subdivision (a) of Section 1203.1. If the court finds that the defendant does not have the ability to pay the fees based on the defendant’s changed circumstances, the court may reduce or waive the fees.
  • If the offense was committed while the defendant was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the defendant shall abstain from the use of drugs or alcohol during the period of probation and shall be subject to random drug testing by his or her probation officer.

There are many ways in which an individual can be charged with child abuse. The prosecution is very creative when dealing with child abuse cases. You can be charged with child abuse for keeping a dirty home, for keeping drugs (prescription, nonprescription and illegal) in the reach of a child, or if you keep an unlocked firearm within reach of a child.

Contact Criminal Law Attorney Jacob Zamora

No criminal charge should be taken lightly, but if you are accused of child abuse, you need a criminal defense attorney who is experienced in these types of cases. If you have been charged with child abuse, contact the Sierra Law Center, APC, for a free consultation by calling 530-798-3548 or filling out the online contact form.

Northern California | Child Abuse | Criminal Defense Attorney Jacob Zamora, Esq.