While more adults contract COVID-19 compared to children, kids can still get the virus and develop serious symptoms. But the cough, fever and sore throat are not the only potential side effects of the coronavirus. Children across San Diego County are also facing increased incidences of child abuse during the coronavirus pandemic.
Stay at Home Orders Related to Uptick in Domestic Incidents
In March of 2020, California instituted stay at home orders in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Schools and businesses closed and many people began to work from home. Many others lost their jobs altogether. With the shutdown of most work and leisure activities, more and more people became confined to their homes. That fact, paired with the higher than average levels of stress and uncertainty, created the conditions for an upsurge in domestic violence and child abuse cases throughout the state.
Over the last 10 months, the state of California and other states throughout the country, have gone back and forth between stay at home orders, partial re-openings and other variations of the two. That means that the risk of violence for victims in the San Diego area continues as we enter into the new year.
Violence has escalated for a variety of reasons related to the pandemic. Job loss and financial hardships, remote work, confinement with spouses and children and fear and anxiety over health have all been contributors to the trend. Unfortunately, children have fewer protections than they have had in the recent past. Because of school closures, teachers and other mandated reporters have minimal contact with vulnerable children and are unaware of the various home situations of their students.
Schedule your free consultation today. Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Joni Eisenstein.
What is Child Abuse in California?
The state of California defines child abuse under California Penal Code 273d PC: “Any person who willfully inflicts upon a child any cruel or inhuman corporeal punishment or an injury resulting in a traumatic condition is guilty of a felony…”
In order to be convicted of a child abuse offense, the prosecution must prove the following:
You willfully inflicted physical punishment or injury
Your actions caused physical trauma
Your actions were not reasonable discipline
There is a fine line between child abuse and discipline. Some examples may help to clear up some of the confusion. Spanking is considered disciplinary in California if it is not excessive. However, it could be considered excessive if the action left bruises, swelling or caused the victim to pass out.
Other examples of abusive actions in California may include things such as kicking, choking, burning, shaking or throwing an object at a child. As you can see, the definition of child abuse leaves a lot to the discretion of the jury. That is why you should secure an attorney right away to help you prepare your defense.
Punishment for Child Abuse Convictions
Child abuse charges are serious and require the legal assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands the California laws pertaining to domestic violence and child abuse. A felony child abuse charge “shall be punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for two, four, or six years, or in a county jail for not more than one year, by a fine of up to six thousand dollars ($6,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.”
Defendants may also receive probation under the following terms:
A minimum probation of 36 months
A protective order and possible residence exclusions or stay-away conditions granted for the victim
Completion of a child abuser treatment program
Have You Been Charged with a Crime Against a Child?
If you are facing child abuse charges in San Diego, call the Law Office of Joni Eisenstein today to schedule your free consultation. In these situations, you need the assistance of an attorney who understands the law and is familiar with the San Diego courts. You deserve representation, and criminal defense attorney Joni Eisenstein is ready to help you prepare a strong defense.
Call the San Diego Law Office of Joni Eisenstein today at 760-721-3161.
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Hiring a criminal defense attorney like Joni Eisenstein can help you go from a place of uncertainty to freedom.