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Children are among the most vulnerable members of society, and prosecutors and judges treat allegations of child abuse harshly as a result. If you are facing child abuse charges, you need an experienced domestic violence attorney to collect evidence on your behalf, accompany you during police interviews, and protect your constitutional rights in court. If you believe that you are under investigation, reach out to a San Leandro child abuse lawyer as soon as possible.

What Constitutes Child Abuse?

In Oakland and throughout California, there are various behaviors that constitute child abuse. An act of violence against a child that is likely to produce great bodily injury or death and causes unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering amounts to a violation of California Penal Code §273a(a), which can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the egregiousness of the conduct and the seriousness of the injuries involved.

An individual can also be prosecuted for child abuse even if no injury or act of violence was committed against the child. Under Penal Code §273a(b), when a person places a child in a situation that could lead to unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering or where the health of the child can be endangered, that person can be prosecuted for child abuse and neglect. An example would be a parent driving under the influence of alcohol with their child in the vehicle.

Is School Truancy Considered Child Neglect?

Under child-neglect laws in California, a parent can also face criminal charges if their child is truant from school. If the child is chronically truant, the parent or legal guardian will be liable for a misdemeanor and a fine if they have not properly supported the child and ensured that they are attending school on a regular basis.

Investigation and Arrest Process

When an act of child abuse is reported, it will likely be investigated by the police, depending on the severity of the allegations. An investigation could result in the child being removed from the home and placed in the custody of another parent or grandparent, or a nearby relative. Usually, both police and Child Protective Services will investigate the abuse allegations.

If the police find probable cause of criminal contact, they will make an arrest which will typically lead to an arraignment, pretrial negotiations, plea/trial and then possible sentencing which includes possible incarceration, probation or parole, fines, counseling, restitution, and protective orders.

Penalties for Child Abuse in San Leandro

Potential consequences associated with child abuse could include a separation of the child from the parent, incarceration, fines, restitution, parenting classes, therapy, protective orders, and the like. The most immediate consequences consist of the initial arrest and service of a criminal protective order as well as Child Protective Services investigations.

Long-term consequences of a child-abuse conviction could include an impact on child custody and visitation. A child abuse conviction does not automatically terminate parental rights, but it will trigger a rebuttable presumption that the offending parent should not have custody of the child.

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In addition to the child custody ramifications, a person accused of child abuse can face either felony or misdemeanor charges (or both). A felony child abuse conviction is punishable by two, four, or six years in state prison while a misdemeanor violation is punishable by one year in county jail. Child abuse not involving an act likely to produce great bodily injury or death is a misdemeanor is punishable by up to six months in county jail.

A conviction of any degree could not only result in the abovementioned incarceration periods but can also be accompanied by probation or parole and additional terms and conditions such as counseling, parenting classes, stay-away orders, fines, restitution, and other collateral consequences such as deportation, denial of naturalization, denial of readmission, and even revocation of professional licenses.

Contact an Experienced San Leandro Child Abuse Attorney

It is critical for anyone who has been accused of a crime involving child abuse or neglect to contact an attorney immediately. A skilled and experienced San Leandro child abuse lawyer can not only assist in the defense of the charges but also help limit the exposure to the collateral consequences such as custody, immigration, and professional licensing.

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The Nieves Law Firm is dedicated to providing aggressive criminal defense representation to working professionals who have found themselves in trouble with the law. We show up to win, and we’re not afraid to fight aggressively to accomplish our client’s goals.

We understand that being accused of a crime can be a scary and confusing experience. That’s why we take the stress off our clients by handling the full scope of their legal situation from the initial consultation to the final outcome. Our bilingual attorneys and staff are here to ensure that our clients feel heard and understood every step of the way.

As one of the largest criminal defense teams in Oakland and the Greater Bay Area, we have the resources and experience to handle even the most complex cases. Our experienced team examines various aspects of your case and, perhaps most importantly, we genuinely care about our clients and their future. We take the time to learn about their goals and priorities so that we can achieve an outcome that allows them to move past their mistakes and focus on the future they want. When you work with us, you become part of our team.

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When facing a criminal charge, having dedicated and experienced attorneys on your side is critical. At The Nieves Law Firm, we understand the gravity of your situation, and our criminal defense attorneys provide unwavering support and legal guidance.

From the moment you reach out to us, we prioritize your well-being and legal interests. Our criminal lawyers are with you every step of the way, from arrest to hearings and beyond, to ensure that your rights are protected. Whether you’re facing charges related to DUI, drug offenses, assault, sex crimes or any other allegation, we have the knowledge and courtroom experience to fight vigorously on your behalf.

We believe in the power of collaboration and will actively involve you in the decision-making process, ensuring you are well-informed and empowered to make the best choices for your defense. Our goal is not only to navigate the legal complexities but also to provide you with the peace of mind and reassurance you deserve during this challenging time.

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