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Sacramento & Placer County Child Abuse Attorney

One of the most serious and life-changing crimes a person can be charged with is child abuse. Child abuse is a serious offense in California and can include a broad range of harmful activities or omissions of care directed at minors.  In many instances, child abuse allegations stem from misunderstandings or false accusations.  In California the law requires those in professions dealing with children, such as teachers, coaches, child care workers, and social service workers, to report any incidents in which they merely suspect abuse may have occurred.  (Penal Code 11166).  The consequences of being convicted of child abuse can be devastating. These offenses can be charged as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the circumstances of the situation.  Penalties for a conviction of child abuse or a related crime can result in jail or prison terms, fines, probation, and other court sanctions, such as restraining orders and more. Furthermore, your reputation, family relations, other personal relationships, and professional opportunities can be seriously damaged upon a conviction.  You may be judged by society at the mere accusation of such an offense which can be devastating.


If you are facing child abuse charges, you need quality legal representation from an experienced Sacramento area attorney, including Placer, El Dorado, Yolo, or Nevada counties. The Law Office of Jeffrey R. Wood will advise you as to your legal rights and options. 

What is Considered Child Abuse?

In California, child abuse is considered to consist of any type of cruelty directed at a child. Most fall under Penal Code 273a.  This can include: 

  • Physical abuse, which can include assault and battery or any type of bodily injury, such as willful cruelty, excessive or unjustifiable physical or corporal punishment

  • Sexual abuse, which includes victimizing a child through such behavior as molestation, indecent exposure, rape, incest, or sexual fondling

  • Emotional abuse which consists of mistreatment that is not physical; willful causation of the mental or emotional suffering of a child which can result in disturbed behavior by the child

  • Neglect, which involves negligence by a parent or caretaker in providing shelter, food, clothing, supervision, or other necessities for the child’s welfare

  • Severe neglect, which involves neglect that leads to a serious condition, such as malnutrition

  • Exploitation, in which a child is forced into engaging in activities beyond his or her understanding or which are illegal

  • Child endangerment, which involves putting a child in a dangerous situation or allowing the child to be injured or suffer unjustifiable pain or mental anguish

Sacramento area criminal child abuse defense attorney Jeffrey Wood

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Child Abuse in California

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What are the Penalties for Child Abuse in California?

How you are charged in any case of child abuse will depend on the type of offense, extent of injury involved to the child, your previous convictions, if any, and any other aggravating factors. If charged with a misdemeanor, you will face up to a year in jail and/or fines in the thousands of dollars.  Felony child abuse convictions can lead to years in jail or prison and fines exceeding $10,000.  If granted probation, which is generally for four years, you will be ordered to complete a child abuser’s treatment program which is a year in length.  You may also be subject to a restraining order (protective order) which prohibits any future abuse against the child and may include a stay-away order involving no contact with the child. In the case where substance (usually drugs or alcohol) abuse has led to the child abuse offense, you may be subject to random testing and other treatment.​

Call Attorney Jeff Wood for Immediate Legal Assistance.

Obviously, the stakes in a child abuse case can be extremely high for everyone involved, with lasting repercussions including incarceration as well as damage to personal relationships, familial connections, and livelihood. If you or a loved one is facing child abuse charges, please contact an experienced Sacramento area child abuse defense lawyer before speaking with authorities or anyone else. Contact attorney Jeff Wood now to discuss your options that the accusations are unfounded altogether.

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