Written by attorney Randy Collins

California Penal Code Section 273

Domestic abuse towards children is seen as an intolerable crime in Orange County, which allocates severe penalties for its’ offenders. In regards to children, it is imperative to understand there is a fine line between what is considered proper discipline and what is construed as outright abuse. Thus, in order to avoid superfluous OC child abuse charges, you must have a full understanding of the law that seeks to prosecute such offenders.

Pursuant to California Penal Code Section 273, domestic abuse against a child occurs when a person commits an act of battery against the child or allows harm to come to a child through either an intentional act or by failure to act through means of negligent. If a person is accused of violating CPC 273, the state has the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused committed the alleged abuse against the child. Therefore, the state must sufficiently prove the accused; (1) caused or allowed a child to be harmed either physically or mentally, (2) acted in a way that was likely to produce great harm or death, (3) acted negligently at the time of the offense, and (4) was not reasonably disciplining the child.

In the event the State is able to successfully obtain a conviction for a misdemeanor violation of CPC 273, the offender will likely face up to one year in county jail. Whereas, a felony violation of penal code 273 results in harsher penalties of two to six years in state prison, a probationary period of 48 months, mandatory participation in a counseling program, and abstinence from the use of drugs and alcohol for a specified length of time. Although, if the abuse leads to the death of a child who is under the age of eight, at the time of the incident, an offender will likely face 25 years to life in state prison. However, if the abuse leads to a child under the age of eight becoming comatose or permanently paralyzed, an offender will likely face imprisonment for life with possibility of parole.

Orange County domestic abuse charges against a child are life altering, but they do not have to be life changing. If you find yourself charged with a California Penal Code Section 273 violation, we at MacGregor & Collins, LLP, your OC domestic abuse lawyers, are here to help you. We have 30 years of combined OC domestic violence criminal defense experience and are ready to provide you with the best legal defense in Orange County. Call ustoday at 949-250-6097.

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