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California Child

Defense from Our California Criminal Attorneys

If you have been accused of child abuse, even if you are innocent, it is important to immediately discuss the situation with a criminal defense attorney. Crimes involving child abuse can often carry severe consequences because of the value and innocence placed on defenseless children. It is difficult to have these charges dropped or negotiated. These situations can also be difficult because they often occur within a home or other private location. It is important to have strong representation by a firm that is not afraid to take a case to trial.

Laws Concerning the Abuse of Children

Each year, investigation data are reported to the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI), which tracks different kinds of child abuse, including physical, sexual, and mental. There are many California criminal laws that come into play if you have been accused of child abuse. California Penal Code §288 and §288.5 regard abusive acts to children ages 14 and younger.

Molestation occurs when any lewd or lascivious act is committed on a child. These acts involve any touching of the child that can cause harm. Physical abuse of a child that results in corporal injury (§273d), including beating or causing harm to a child, can be considered a severe crime. Battery (§242) towards a child is also taken very seriously. Battery is the use of force or violence against a child. Unlawful sexual intercourse between an individual over the age of 21 and another under the age of 16 is considered statutory rape under penal code §261.5


Penalties concerning child abuse range from a small jail sentence to years in state prison. It is important to have strong defense against these situations because the penalties can be very severe. The following are penalties and sentences you could face if charged with child abuse:

  • Lewd / Lascivious Acts - Sentencing for lewd or lascivious acts can range from one year in county jail to up to eight years in state prison with a $10,000 fine. If there is a pattern of 3 or more incidents, a sentence of 16 years in prison could result.
  • Physical Abuse - If convicted of a misdemeanor, the sentence is a maximum of one year in jail. If convicted of a felony, you could face six years in state prison. If probation is granted, the minimum period would be 36 months.
  • Battery - Child abuse involving battery warrants a sentence of up to six months in county jail. If this situation is charged as a felony, two to four years in state prison is the prescribed sentence. Probation and counseling are also typically required.
  • Statutory Rape - If the child abuse charge is classified as a misdemeanor, the criminal will be sentenced with up to one year in county jail. If the act is charged as a felony, he / she will be given up to four years in state prison.

Defense Against Abuse Allegations

Child abuse charges are very dangerous because there are typically no witnesses and rarely any substantial evidence. False accusations can arise, and if you are innocent or falsely accused, it is important to take immediate action. Penalties are severe in these cases, so the defense should be handled accordingly. Obtain the assistance of a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer from Rodriguez Lewis & Kahn today!


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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.