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An accusation of child abuse or child endangerment is a serious and often complicated situation for everyone involved. There is a big difference between the two offenses, and each has its own set of legal ramifications. If you are convicted of either, you can face significant consequences, including jail time and even the loss of your parental rights.
If you or a loved one has been accused of one or both of these offenses, it is important to start formulating a defense as soon as you can. A Los Angeles experienced criminal defense attorney can help. Don’t hesitate to contact the Law Offices of David S. Chesley to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles.
In California, child abuse is defined as the physical abuse of a minor. Parental discipline and caregiving are given great deference by courts, but a physical manifestation of injury is considered abuse. Any parent, stepparent, family member, caregiver, etc. may not injure a child but may use reasonable physical discipline with a child in their care. In order to convicted of child abuse, your actions must be intentional. This means the intention to do the action, not the intent to harm your child. The injury could be minor, such as a bruise or scratch, or serious, such as fractures or broken bones. Some of the actions that may bring a cause for child abuse include:
A wide range of penalties may result from a child abuse conviction. Some of the situations you may be facing include:
A conviction generally results from actions resulting in traumatic conditions from cruel and inhumane punishment. However, child abuse charges may be filed for something like bruising on your child after being shoved. This type of charge may not be enough to result in a conviction. Some defense strategies may turn on insufficient evidence, lack of witnesses, or false accusations unsubstantiated by the evidence.
It’s important to note that child abuse charges provide different rules for prosecutors when presenting evidence against you. Prior bad acts can be used to prove character traits in these cases, unlike normal criminal proceedings. Past convictions of child abuse or allegations that did not result in convictions are admissible in court, along with evidence of domestic violence in certain circumstances to show tendencies of violent conduct on your part. Penalties can be severe in these cases which make it so important to contact an experience Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer to build a strong defense to any charges brought against you.
In California, child endangerment does not require physical injury but applies to a much wider range of behavior. The law prohibits the following types of willful or negligent behavior situations:
The offense involves placing a child in a situation where you should have known the potential for an unjustifiable infliction of pain, even if no infliction actually occurred. Although a child endangerment charge may not carry the same severity of punishment as a child abuse charge, a conviction is serious and may result in lifelong consequences for you and for your family.
A child endangerment case may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the degree of potential physical harm placed on the child. If exposure to the risk of serious injury occurred, prosecutors will likely elevate the offense to a felony charge. At times this may be downgraded to a misdemeanor through a plea agreement with the help of a defense attorney in California. Some of the penalties attached to a conviction may include the following consequences:
The California Three Strikes Law applies to felony convictions in these situations. The law requires twice the amount of time in state prison for a second felony conviction and a minimum 25-year prison sentence for a third felony conviction.
It’s possible to enter a plea agreement in order to reduce the charges against you or receive alternative sentencing in place of jail time, such as counseling and probation. Some of the defenses you may use are the following:
Accusations of child abuse or child endangerment can have lasting consequences even without a guilty conviction. The stress on your reputation, family, and other personal relationships is significant and becomes even more so when criminal charges are filed. Loss of custody or visitation of your child while charges are pending often also occurs, creating further familial disruptions.
A Los Angeles criminal defense attorney can work with Child Protective Services and other parties involved to defend your rights and gain access to visitation or remove the restricting conditions placed on your relationship with your child altogether. The Law Offices of David S. Chesley will use their skilled knowledge in this area of the law to provide the best outcome possible for you and your family.
Contact a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
If you or a family member is facing formal child abuse or child endangerment charges or is under investigation for possible charges, it is crucial to seek out legal counsel right away. A Los Angeles experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand your rights and discuss the facts and circumstances of your case. Charges of this nature are serious and can result in lifelong repercussions for you and your family. The Law Offices of David S. Chesley can help you build a strong defense and possibly downgrade your charges or have them dismissed altogether. Contact us today at 800-755-5174 or visit us online today and fill out our contact form for a free case evaluation.
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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!
Client facing 5 years for possession of deadly weapon we negotiated a plea for NO JAIL TIME!
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!
Strike case: Client charged with possession of methamphetamine facing 25 years we filed a Romero Motion which was granted case REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR!
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.
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 allegedly sold rock cocaine to undercover officer faced 10 years following our argument client received NO JAIL TIME!
Client facing 15 years for Armed Robbery we proved misidentification Judge DISMISSED the case!
Rodrigo L. San Fernando, CA (Sherman Oaks Yelp Review)
I am truly pleased with my experience with the Law Offices Of David S Chesley. They answered all my questions and provided me with great advice and legal services. My case resolved quickly. Thank you!
Ricardo Esteves Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Google Places Review)
I left court yesterday with my last case being wrapped up. Two court appearances and that’s it. He represented me in a couple of different cases and was impressive to say the least. Always a phone call or text message away. Confident and aggressive when he needed to be. Calming and thorough when meeting with me. Attorney Chesley did exactly what he said he would and I got the results I needed. He seemed to know all the right people at the Temple Street courthouse. You can always get in contact with him quickly and he is a great lawyer. I highly recommend his legal services.
Erica Geller Ontario, CA (Ontario Facebook review)
My brother was given a very caring attorney that was assigned to his case and we had very helpful case managers throughout the process. I strongly recommend David Chesley to anyone who is in trouble. I called in to get help on my brothers case and right away I liked their service. My brothers charges were eventually dismissed after the attorney got him into a program, now he could go on without the trouble of having anything on his record
Elizabeth F. San Diego, CA (San Diego Google Places Review)
I retained Mr. Chesley and his firm and from the beginning they were extremely professional both in communicating the status of my case to me, explaining the situation as a whole, and just downright taking care of business. It was money well spent for a job well done. Thanks again to David and Melissa others that worked on my case. I recommend this firm to anyone in need of legal representation. Don’t just accept things the courts force on you, call this firm and protect yourself.
Leon Hanley Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Avvo review)
I contacted Mr. Chesley and his firm because some unfortunate events had left me in a jam. Detectives were demanding I testify or be prosecuted for a crime I didn’t commit. (I wasn’t involved or even at the scene of the alleged crime when it supposedly took place.) Mr. Chesley explained to me that he had been through similar situations with his clients before and understood exactly what was going on. His response to what took place was nothing short of amazing. No matter how small my concern, Mr. Chesley addressed it in a timely manner. He advocated for what is right and empathized with me in dealing with the Court system. After meeting with the supervising D.A. and providing alibi evidence he was able to get me out the situation. I’m very grateful to have found him.
Britanny Givens Newport Beach, CA (Newport Beach Google Places)
I hired David Chesley for my criminal defense in 2012. he was recommended to us for is success results and his low fees. David is very smart and his professional legal advice was honest & much appreciated during these stressful time. David’s knowledge, advice, and communication about what we were to expect was reassuring and beneficial to me. He charged me a reasonable flat rate and didn’t charge me any surprise fees. In my case David Chesley was able to negotiate with the prosecution attorney for the best result I could hope for. He had success at getting my criminal charges dismissed with the judges approval. You will not be disappointed if you hire The Law Offices of David S. Chesley.
Andrew A. North Hollywood, CA (Better Business Bureau review)
David is very professional, yet very casual. Although it is typically not easy to speak straight up with an attorney, he is very easy to talk to. He replied to my questions quickly and was available all hours. Not only did he get my case resolved with a dismissal, he went above and beyond and got me an expungement without me even requesting it. He never beats around the bush and tells you like it is. At the same time is willing to work overtime to get the results you request. I would use David’s services again in the future.