Posted on: April 20, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 273(d)

Orange County criminal defense attorneyIn the state of California, the law acknowledges that parents have the right to discipline their children as they see fit – within reasonable limits, of course. Nevertheless, parents can be charged with a crime under California Penal Code 273(d) if the physical punishment of a child is or appears to be cruel or excessive. To quote from the statute itself: “Any person who willfully inflicts upon a child any cruel or inhuman corporal punishment or an injury resulting in a traumatic condition is guilty of a felony.”

If you are a parent or a guardian in southern California, and if you are accused of physically abusing your child, you’ll need to retain legal representation as quickly as possible. You’ll need to arrange at once to speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney. How is “cruel or inhuman” defined by the law? There’s no fixed legal definition in California; the courts consider all of the circumstances in each individual physical abuse case. Spanking is not deemed cruel or inhuman, and despite some efforts in the past to outlaw it in California, corporal punishment remains legal. However, if a child suffers a long-term or visible injury, criminal charges may be filed.

A conviction for physical child abuse could conceivably land a parent or guardian in prison for up to six years and result in a fine of up to $6,000. A restraining order might also be issued, and you could be sentenced to attend court-ordered counseling sessions. Of course, the overwhelming majority of parents would never intentionally harm their children, and in a number of these cases, an accident or a misunderstanding is what has happened – not a crime. If you are charged with physical child abuse in Orange County, make the call at once to an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.


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