Orange County Child Abuse and Child Neglect Attorney
Lawyers in Orange County Defending Child Abuse Charges
Our Criminal Law attorneys have experience in handling child neglect cases in Orange County courts. If you or someone you know has been charged anywhere in Orange County with child abuse, child neglect, abandonment, DUI with child endangerment, desertion, conspiracy to commit child abandonment, omission to furnish necessary food, clothing, shelter, medical attendance or other remedial care, we can help.
Under the law, California Penal Code Section 270-273.75 et. seq. (Child Neglect) is committed when a parent of a minor child willfully omits, without lawful excuse, to furnish necessary clothing, food, shelter or medical attendance, or other remedial care for his or her child. All the State needs to prove is that your acts were willful and without lawful excuse.
For example, you could be found guilty of child neglect for intentionally leaving your child in the car while going into a store. You could also be found guilty for placing your child in a dangerous or potentially dangerous situation in or out of their home, including driving under the influence with a child in the car.
Child abandonment or endangerment is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2000), or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or by both a fine and imprisonment together.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Child Welfare Information Gateway, 60% of abused children suffer from neglect. 56% of all alleged cases of child neglect are reported by teachers, doctors, nurses, social workers and other professionals, and 44% are reported by friends, neighbors, and relatives.
Notably, in California, most child care professionals and health practitioners are required to report suspected instances of child neglect in a timely manner. The omission of this responsibility could result in fines, jail time and civil damages, not to mention the danger to the child itself. Child neglect can take various forms:
- failure to ensure a child is wearing a seat belt and the child is later injured in a car accident
- failure to provide education to a child
- drug/alcohol related
- subjecting the child to extreme corporal punishment
- bodily harm
- child abuse and maltreatment
- exposing the child to domestic violence
- sexual abuse and assault
- lack of providing food, clothing, shelter or medical care
In sum, child neglect crimes are serious criminal charges. Moreover, the Orange County District Attorney and the Orange County courts are very protective of children, and will, in most cases, want actual incarceration when someone has been charged with neglecting a child. Therefore, an Orange County Child Abuse and Child Neglect Attorney, like Robert Miller, will always try to negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce the fine and/or potential jail time in these types of cases.
The Key Issue for Child Neglect is Intent
Can the State prove that the child neglect was willful or done intentionally? If the State cannot prove intent, then charges will most likely be dismissed or the defendant will be found not guilty at trial. If the State has problems with proving intent, then the case can be dismissed or settled for reduced charges with potentially zero jail or fines.
Other key factors to consider in these cases are whether the defendant has a prior criminal record. If the defendant has a prior record for child neglect, punishment will typically be more severe. If there is no prior record, then punishment can be greatly reduced. Miller and Associates can get probation for the vast majority of its clients; with probation comes the opportunity to have community service, home arrest, or work project as opposed to actual jail time.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for child neglect, get professional representation from an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately to protect your rights by contacting our firm at (877) 942-3090, toll free.