Child Abuse Defense at The Law Offices of Arash Hashemi

Facing allegations of child abuse under CA Penal Code 273d PC is a serious and distressing situation. These charges can encompass a wide range of actions, from physical violence to severe neglect, and carry severe implications including felony convictions, imprisonment, and mandatory child abuse prevention programs. California law treats these offenses with utmost seriousness, emphasizing the protection of minors and imposing stringent consequences for violators.

At The Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we have been defending California residents against various criminal charges since 2003. With over 20 years of experience, Attorney Arash Hashemi provides effective legal representation for individuals accused of child abuse. He meticulously reviews each case, identifies potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s evidence, and develops a comprehensive defense strategy tailored to the specific circumstances of your situation.

If you or someone you know is facing child abuse charges in Los Angeles, it is crucial to seek experienced legal counsel immediately. Contact our office at (310) 448-1529 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation. Our legal team is committed to standing by you, offering steadfast support and strategic defense to fight for the best possible outcome in your case.

Child Abuse Under California Law

California Penal Code 273d PC defines child abuse as the willful infliction of physical harm or cruel punishment on a minor, resulting in a traumatic condition. This offense is classified as a “wobbler,” meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The classification depends on the severity of the harm and the specific details of the case.

Traumatic Condition: A traumatic condition is defined as any physical injury caused by physical force. This includes injuries such as bruises, fractures, and any other wounds resulting from intentional force. Examples include hitting, shaking, or other actions causing physical harm to a child.

Protected Victims: The law protects any minor under the care of the accused, including biological children, stepchildren, foster children, and minors for whom the accused has custodial responsibilities. This broad application ensures that all minors in a caretaker’s charge are protected from abuse.





    Key Elements Required for a Charge

    Willful Infliction of Injury: Your actions against a child are considered willful if you act deliberately. The court can find you guilty of child abuse even if you did not intend to violate the law or cause harm to the child. It must be clear that there was an intention to engage in the act. Common acts that could be classified as inhuman punishment under this statute include:

    • Punching
    • Pushing
    • Shaking
    • Choking
    • Kicking
    • Throwing a child against a wall

    Resulting in a Traumatic Condition

    The prosecutor must prove that the injury inflicted on the child resulted in a traumatic condition. A traumatic condition is defined as a bodily injury or wound caused by the direct impact of force. It must be clear that the injury was a probable and direct consequence of your actions. Even minor injuries, such as cuts or scrapes, can establish a conviction under this statute.

    Not Discipline

    Corporal punishment of a child is acceptable in California. Parents have the right to discipline their children, including spanking. However, using excessive force that causes injury to the child will be viewed as abuse. The prosecution must prove that your actions were not aimed at disciplining the child but instead constituted abuse.

    In addition to these elements, the prosecution may introduce evidence of prior instances of domestic violence or child abuse. Even if these prior incidents did not result in convictions, they can be used to demonstrate a pattern of behavior. The court will hold a hearing to determine the relevance of this evidence, considering factors such as potential prejudice to the jury and the time elapsed between incidents.

    Distinction Between Discipline and Abuse

    Reasonable Discipline: California law recognizes the right of parents and guardians to discipline their children in a reasonable manner. Actions like spanking are considered legal as long as they do not result in injury. The key is that the discipline must be appropriate and not excessive. Reasonable discipline is meant to teach or correct the child without causing harm.

    Excessive or Cruel Punishment: Discipline crosses the line into abuse when it becomes excessive or cruel, leading to physical injury or significant mental suffering. The intent to discipline does not excuse actions that result in a traumatic condition. Even if the caregiver did not intend to cause severe harm, any actions that lead to substantial injury or suffering can result in a conviction. The law focuses on the actual harm inflicted on the child, regardless of the caregiver’s intentions.

    Penalties For Child Abuse In California

    Depending on the severity of the abuse, you may face either misdemeanor or felony charges, each with its own set of penalties.

    Misdemeanor Penalties:

    • Imprisonment: Up to one year in county jail.
    • Probation: A mandatory minimum of three years of summary or unsupervised probation.
    • Restraining Orders: A restraining order or criminal protective order to protect the victim from further violence or threats, which may include stay-away conditions from your residence.
    • Treatment Program: Mandatory completion of a 52-week court-ordered Child Abuser’s Treatment Program with quarterly court appearances to demonstrate progress.
    • Drug Testing: Random drug testing if the charges involved allegations of alcohol or drug influence at the time of the act.

    Felony Penalties:

    • Imprisonment: Up to six years in state prison.
    • Fines: A maximum fine of $6,000.
    • Probation: A mandatory minimum of three years of formal probation, also known as “Felony Probation.”
    • Protective Orders: A criminal protective order with stay-away conditions and firearm restrictions.
    • Treatment Program: Mandatory completion of a 52-week Child Abuser’s Treatment Program or “Parenting Classes” with progress appearances in court every three months.
    • Drug Testing: Drug testing conducted by the probation department at random if drug or alcohol intoxication was a factor in the case.

    Enhanced Sentencing for Repeat Offenders: If you have a prior conviction for child abuse within seven years, your sentence could be increased by four years.

    Defense Strategies for Child Abuse Allegations

    False Allegations: Child abuse accusations can be devastating, especially if they are false. These accusations might arise due to various motives, such as hiding one’s own crime, gaining an advantage in child custody disputes, or out of anger and revenge. False allegations can lead to immediate arrest without thorough investigation. A skilled attorney will scrutinize the accuser’s motives and gather evidence to prove your innocence.

    Accidental Injuries: Mandated reporters, such as teachers and doctors, are required by law to report suspected child abuse. However, not all injuries result from abuse. If the child’s injuries were accidental and not due to intentional harm, this defense can be effective. Demonstrating that the injuries were legitimate accidents can help challenge the abuse charges.

    You Did Not Cause Injury to the Child: As a parent or guardian, you might be the first suspect in child abuse allegations. However, the child’s injuries might have been caused by someone else. If another person harmed the child, presenting this evidence can help defend against the charges. However, you could still face child endangerment charges if it’s proven that you failed to protect the child from harm.

    Disciplining the Child: Parents have the legal right to discipline their children, provided it is reasonable and does not cause harm. Actions such as spanking, if done reasonably and without injury, should not be considered abuse. Unfortunately, disciplinary actions can be misinterpreted or exploited by others to bring abuse charges. Demonstrating that the discipline was appropriate and did not harm the child can be an effective defense.

    Why Choose The Law Offices of Arash Hashemi?

    When facing child abuse charges in Los Angeles, you need a defense attorney with extensive experience and a proven track record. Attorney Arash Hashemi has been an active member of The State Bar of California since December 2002. On his second day as a lawyer, Arash was already in court, participating in a bench trial. Over the years, he has handled a wide variety of criminal cases, from simple misdemeanors to complex felonies, including murder.

    Arash has also represented thousands of Californians accused of violating their probation or parole and has argued cases before the California Court of Appeals. He is admitted to practice before all California State Courts and the United States District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Central, and Southern Districts of California. Attorney Hashemi brings a wealth of knowledge, dedication, and a deep understanding of California’s criminal justice system to every case he handles.

    Contact a Los Angeles Child Abuse Defense Attorney & Schedule Your Consultation Today

     Los Angeles Traffic Ticket LawyerIf you are facing child abuse charges, don’t wait to seek legal assistance. With over 20 years of experience in criminal defense, Attorney Arash Hashemi and his team are dedicated to providing professional, effective legal representation. We understand the serious implications of these charges and are committed to protecting your rights and future.

    Schedule a Consultation:





      11845 W Olympic Blvd #520, Los Angeles, CA 90064

      Monday—Friday 8:30AM–5:00PM

      (310) 448-1529

      Disclaimer: The content provided here is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is not intended to predict outcomes, as individual circumstances vary and laws may change over time. Those seeking legal advice should consult with a qualified attorney to understand how current laws apply to their specific situation. For detailed legal guidance on the topics discussed, please contact our law firm directly.