San Jose Child Abuse Defense Attorney
Being charged with child abuse in San Jose, CA, is a frightening experience that can significantly impact your life and the lives of those around you. A child abuse conviction often carries heavy penalties and a tarnished reputation. Therefore, it’s essential to find a reliable and experienced lawyer to help you navigate the legal landscape.
If you’ve been arrested in San Jose, California, and need legal assistance, Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law can help. Our experienced criminal defense lawyers have three decades of combined experience, and we fiercely protect the rights of the accused. We can assist with any type of domestic violence or related criminal matter, no matter the complexity of the case.
How Our Domestic Violence Attorneys Can Help If You’re Arrested for Child Abuse in San Jose, CA
As a defendant in a child abuse case, it is crucial to work with a skilled San Jose criminal defense attorney who understands the complexities of these charges and California law.
Here’s how our San Jose child abuse defense lawyers can help you:
- We will evaluate your case by reviewing the details of the allegations, the evidence against you, and the circumstances surrounding the claims.
- We will expose potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, such as unreliable witnesses or improperly collected evidence.
- We can challenge the prosecution’s case by filing motions to suppress evidence or dismiss certain charges.
- We can work with the prosecution to negotiate a plea bargain.
- We will develop a comprehensive defense strategy if your case proceeds to trial.
For help with a child abuse charge, contact Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law to schedule a free case evaluation with a San Jose domestic violence lawyer.
Overview of Child Abuse in California
In California, child abuse is defined as willfully inflicting “cruel or inhuman corporal punishment or an injury resulting in a traumatic condition.” Child abuse also encompasses sexual abuse, assault, and child exploitation.
Corporal punishment is a form of punishment that is physical rather than emotional, typically administered by a parent or authority figure.
Traumatic conditions are minor or severe bodily injuries caused by physical force.
Spanking vs. Child Abuse
In many instances, parents might administer spanking as a form of discipline, which is not typically considered child abuse in California. However, there is a fine line between appropriate discipline and child abuse. If a jury perceives the spanking as excessive, they can render a guilty verdict.
What Are the Penalties For Child Abuse in San Jose, California?
In California, child abuse is considered a “wobbler” offense. This means that the prosecutor has the discretion to charge the defendant with either a misdemeanor or a felony based on the circumstances of the alleged offense and the defendant’s criminal history. This decision-making process is critical, as it can significantly impact the penalties the defendant faces if convicted.
Misdemeanor Charges for Child Abuse
A minor first offense for child abuse typically results in a misdemeanor charge. If convicted of this charge, the defendant may face jail time of up to one year and a fine of up to $6,000. Additionally, the judge might choose to sentence the defendant to probation instead of jail time.
When Child Abuse is Charged as a Felony
A felony charge for child abuse is more likely in scenarios where:
- The act was particularly cruel.
- The injury to the child was very serious.
- The defendant has prior convictions for child abuse or related offenses.
The consequences of a felony child abuse conviction can include between two and six years of jail time and/or a fine of up to $6,000. The defendant may receive probation rather than jail time, depending on the specifics of the case.
Consequences for Defendants with Prior Child Abuse Convictions
In cases where the defendant has a prior child abuse conviction, the potential sentence can be lengthened by four extra years in jail. This increased sentence applies unless they have not served time for any other felony in the past ten years and have finished serving their prison term for the prior child abuse conviction over ten years ago.
What Defenses Can Be Raised If I’m Accused of Child Abuse in San Jose, CA?
Several potential legal defenses can be raised if you’re charged with child abuse. Some of the most common include the following:
Unfortunately, false accusations are not uncommon in child abuse cases. There are several motives behind these false allegations, such as anger, jealousy, revenge, or a desire for control. Sometimes these allegations tip the scales in favor of one parent during a custody battle.
Child abuse charges can sometimes stem from instances where the cause of the child’s injury was accidental. For example, a parent might be charged with abuse if their child gets injured while playing sports or engaging in roughhousing, even if there was no intent to harm the child.
In such cases, the San Jose defense attorney can argue that the injury was unintentional and does not constitute abuse. Presenting relevant evidence, such as documenting the circumstances surrounding the incident or soliciting expert opinions, might be crucial in proving that the injury was accidental.
Discipline: Corporal Punishment
Under California law, parents have the right to use corporal punishment when disciplining their children as long as it is reasonable and does not cause any bodily injury. Corporal punishment refers to physical discipline, such as spanking, to correct improper behavior.
If a parent is charged with child abuse for corporal punishment, the defense attorney can argue that the punishment was reasonable. To do this, they must prove that the discipline was appropriate given the child’s age, size, and the seriousness of the misconduct.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation With Our San Jose Child Abuse Defense Attorneys
Facing child abuse charges in California is undoubtedly a challenging experience. Partnering with a defense attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.
If you or a loved one is facing child abuse charges in California, contact Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law to schedule a free consultation with a San Jose domestic violence attorney.