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Client facing 15 years for Armed Robbery we proved misidentification Judge DISMISSED the case!

Client allegedly sold rock cocaine to undercover officer faced 10 years following our argument client received NO JAIL TIME!

Police allegedly discovered 3 bags of marijuana in client's glove box faced 6 years we filed a 1538.5 motion to suppress resulting in DISMISSAL of all charges!

Client's estranged girlfriend alleged Client broke into her room and choked her facing 14 years in State Prison we won at trial JURY ACQUITTAL.

Strike case: Client charged with possession of methamphetamine facing 25 years we filed a Romero Motion which was granted case REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR!

Client facing 3 life terms for multiple felony counts of Child Molestation and Sodomy with child we proved the charges were fabricated by victims mother DISMISSAL of all charges at preliminary hearing!

Client facing 5 years for possession of deadly weapon we negotiated a plea for NO JAIL TIME!

Multiple defendants each facing 7 years charged with smuggling prescription drugs into California from Mexico our client was the only defendant who received NO JAIL TIME!

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Child Abuse: California Penal Code 273         

The two most common Penal Code Sections associated with child abuse charges are 273a (a) and 273a (b).

Penal Code Section 273a (a):

This is the more serious of the charges and requires serious injury or death to the child or potentially serious injury or death to the child (also known as endangerment) to be alleged. The elements are:

  • The Defendant willfully inflicted/permitted unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering or endangerment on a child; and
  • the Defendant caused or permitted the child to suffer or be endangered under circumstances likely to produce great bodily harm or death; and
  • The Defendant was criminally negligent when he caused or permitted the child to suffer/be injured/ or be endangered; and
  • The Defendant did not act while reasonably disciplining a child.


This crime requires a willful intent to cause the injury or endangerment. It cannot be mere negligent there must be a specific intent to commit the act. Criminal Negligence requires reckless conduct that creates a high risk of death or great bodily harm AND the reckless conduct must be recognizable by an ordinary person as creating such a risk. So a reasonable mistake would not satisfy the elements of this crime.


The Defendant can face up to 1 year in county jail if found guilty of this offense or up to three years of state prison.

Penal Code Section 273a (b):

The elements are:

  • The Defendant willfully caused or permitted a child to suffer injury or endangerment; and
  • The Defendant was criminally negligent when he caused the child to be injured or endangered;
  • The Defendant was not trying to reasonably discipline the child.


The Defenses to this crime are the same as for Penal Code Section 273a (a). Reasonable discipline to include physical contact can be used to discipline a child. However, the use of force must be age appropriate and not excessive. Generally, any discipline that leaves marks or bruises will probably be considered excessive force and could cause an individual to be charged with either of these offenses. These charges are also commonly used when an individual is driving a vehicle over the legal limit for alcohol with a child in the back of the car. That situation is considered endangerment of the child and is usually charged as a misdemeanor offense if the child is uninjured and there is no accident.


The Defendant can serve up to 1-year in county jail. This charge can only be a misdemeanor.

  • Los Angeles County
  • Orange County
  • San Bern / Riverside
  • San Diego County
  • Kern / Santa Barbara
  • Sacramento / Sonoma
  • Alameda / San Joaquin
  • Ventura County
  • Fresno / Santa Clara
  • Northern California


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Office Locations

Main Office:
Law Offices of David S. Chesley, Inc.
A Professional Law Corporation
4533 Van Nuys Boulevard, Second Floor
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

Additional Offices in Counties throughout Southern, Central, and Northern California.

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