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Orange County Child Abuse Attorney

Child Abuse

Our personal experiences relating to child abuse may come from stories that are close to us or stories of other people we’ve seen on television.  Unfortunately, both experiences draw a picture of a parent that hurts his or her children in senseless and torture-like ways over a long period of time.  This image is not necessary to draw upon charges of Child Abuse.  A once-in-a-lifetime instance can bring about criminal charges where no history existed before.  For this reason, the information below is important for you to know. 

Defense of Child Abuse

Naturally, most parents who would think a typical instance of child discipline would not rise to an allegation of child abuse—which is why it’s a bona fide defense in court as well.  The issue lands on whether or not the discipline (or use of force) was reasonable.  This of course will fall onto the evidence.  So it is very important your defense lawyer knows what is the most appropriate evidence that should be kept in court or out of court.

Other defenses stem from outright false allegations between parents.  The motivations for these allegations can range anywhere from gaining an advantage in custody proceedings to blatant vengeance for past emotional pain caused by the other.

Law of Child Abuse

Child abuse is actually very difficult to define. It can range anywhere from verbal abuse to excessive physical punishment. In most cases, however, child abuse will be presented as a person willfully inflicting cruel or inhuman punishments on a child and leaving the child in a traumatic physical state (Penal Code § 273d).

A physical punishment is considered cruel and unusual if it falls outside of normal disciplinary bounds. For example, while a spanking may be acceptable, prolonged beating that disregards the child’s cries of pain would not.

A traumatic physical condition is any wound or injury, such as a bruise or a cut, caused by physical force. The traumatic physical condition is only relevant however if it can be directly proven that the injuries of the child were caused by the physical punishment. If the physical punishment was not a large reason for the injuries or the injuries would have happened with or without the physical punishment, then it cannot be said that the injuries were caused by the physical punishment.