August 11, 2014
California law allows parents a certain amount of discretion regarding how to discipline their children, including spanking. What this means is parents have some leeway when it comes to how they raise their children. But, of course, there are limitations. In general, disciplining becomes illegal when an injury occurs. If you used force against your child, and that force resulted in an injury, you could face child abuse charges.
Child abuse can be charged as a misdemeanor or even a felony depending on the severity of the injuries suffered by the alleged victim. A misdemeanor conviction for child abuse can result in up to a year in county jail and a felony conviction can result in a six-year prison sentence. In other words, individuals who have been falsely accused of child abuse must act quickly to build a defense or risk facing severe penalties that could affect every aspect of their lives.
One possible defense for child abuse charges in Santa Clarita is to establish how the injuries occurred. For example, if a child suffered injuries from a fall or some other type of accident, the parents cannot be charged. It is important that adults follow the mandatory reporting requirements when they see injuries, but it is also important that parents are not wrongfully convicted for abuse that didn't take place.
Sometimes, a child may make allegations of abuse out of anger or frustration. It is necessary in these types of cases to review how the injury actually occurred and what the motives are behind the allegations. Some of the many legal defenses that can lead to child abuse charges being reduced or dismissed include:
- Proving that the allegations are false
- Showing how and when the injuries occurred and that they did not result from abuse
- Proving that the parent was acting within his or her right to discipline the child
- Arguing that the injury was not deliberately inflicted
It is vital to protect the children of Santa Clarita, but it is also important to protect the rights of wrongfully accused adults. If you have been charged with child abuse, please do not discuss your case with the authorities. Contact an experienced Santa Clarita criminal defense lawyer who will help protect your rights and your reputation.