If you are accused of committing an act of child abuse, it is a frightening and very dangerous legal situation. You could have your children removed from your home and face an investigation, prying into your private life and beliefs, all as the result of a report of abuse by another party. If you are accused of child abuse and are currently under investigation or are currently facing charges, contact San Diego domestic violence attorney George H. Ramos, Jr., at once. As one of the leading child abuse defense lawyers serving in San Diego, Mr. Ramos will immediately take action on your behalf.
These charges typically stem from a report of abuse by the other parent or family member, a teacher, neighbor, or another party. The investigation begins with Child Protective Services arriving at your door. The agency can remove your children from your home if it is suspected that he or she is in danger. Under California state law, child abuse is defined as:
Unexplained, non-accidental injuries are presumed to be the direct result of either abuse or neglect. The California Department of Education mandates that teachers report cases of suspected child abuse, whether physical or emotional. The law requires that when a teacher has a “reasonable suspicion” that abuse or neglect is occurring, a report must be filed. View a chart of how the process of an investigation will unfold.
A child that is not in danger, is unharmed but exhibits certain types of behavior may result in a report of suspected abuse, followed by an investigation into you and your family, with the very real risk that your children may be removed from your home. The warning signs of emotional abuse listed for teachers include:
All of these behaviors could also be exhibited by a child living in a happy, healthy home, by any child, and may not be related to any form of violence or neglect.
You may be facing charges of child abuse or neglect under two sections of the California Penal Code 270. This section of the law outlines crimes against children and the penalties imposed upon parents or caregivers who are believed to have committed criminal acts.
The crimes include a misdemeanor offense filed if accused of failing to furnish clothing, food, shelter, medical care or other remedial care to a child. If convicted, the penalties include imprisonment in county jail up to one year, or in state prison, and a fine up to $2,000.
The law allows for parents or caregivers to be charged when a child fails to attend school as required, termed a “chronic truant.” In a conviction, the parent or caregiver may face up to a year in county jail and up to $2,000 in fines.
A parent who refuses to allow a child into the home without a lawful excuse can be charged is a misdemeanor, with fines up to $500.
A person accused of placing a child into circumstances or conditions that may put the child at risk of suffering great bodily harm or death, or willfully causes a child to suffer, or inflicts unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, or causes the health of a child to be injured, or in a position in which their health may be injured is guilty of a misdemeanor. The punishments can include jail time for a year, or state prison for two, four, or six years. If probation is granted, it will be for a mandatory minimum of four years, can involve a long-term protection order restricting access to the child, the home, and other locations where the child may be present.
A child who is believed to have inflected cruel or inhuman corporal punishment or an injury that led to a serious physical condition will face felony charges, with penalties including up to six years in state prison and fines up to $6,000.
Under state law, a person who engages in degrading, lewd, immoral or vicious habits or practices or who is habitually drunk when caring for a child for whom they have custody or control can be charged with a misdemeanor.
If you are facing charges of misdemeanor or felony child abuse, you are in serious legal trouble. The first and most crucial step is to retain a child abuse lawyer who has an exceptional level of experience in defending against these charges. The various options that may be pursued include:
If you are facing charges of child abuse, the most critical step is ensuring your rights are protected by an experienced child abuse defense attorney. Attorney George H. Ramos, Jr., is widely recognized as being among the finest criminal attorneys in these cases. His background and award-winning former service as a Supervising Attorney at the Child Abuse/Domestic Violence Unit has given him the experience that could greatly benefit you in your case. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.