The top expertise criminal defense lawyer for child abuse with more than 25 years of experience, David Pflaum protects the rights of his clients and gets the best possible results for them in court.
An allegation of child abuse may arise when a person allegedly causes physical or emotional harm to a child. There are many forms of alleged child abuse, including neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse.
Sometimes something as simple as disciplining a child may give rise to a claim of child abuse.
Important. Accusations of child abuse are often easy to make, but not necessarily easy to prove. Just because someone claims to be a victim does not make it so.
HOW THE LAWYER HELPS DURING THE INVESTIGATION STAGE
If you are the subject of an investigation and the police, a detective, or Child Protective Services worker wants to speak with you, you should seek the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your interests.
During an investigation the defense attorney advises his client of his or her constitutional rights and how best to invoke them, and speaks to investigators on behalf of his client to prevent an arrest and a prosecution in court.
HOW THE LAWYER HELPS IF SOMEONE IS IN JAIL
Get Released. If you or someone you know has been arrested and put in jail for child abuse, the defense lawyer helps get the person released from jail as soon as possible.
The procedures to get a person out of custody depend on the circumstances of the alleged crime and the present status of the accused, i.e., ties to the community, employment, ownership of property, age, health, prior criminal record, military experience and character references.
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HOW THE LAWYER HELPS BEFORE CHARGES ARE FILED IN COURT
Get Information to the Prosecutor. In some cases the defense lawyer prepares helpful information that is favorable to the client to be delivered immediately to the prosecution’s office with the goal of persuading the prosecutor not to file charges in court or to file reduced charges.
THE SUCCESSFUL DEFENSE OF A CHILD ABUSE ACCUSATION
The defense attorney begins his work by reviewing the facts of the case with the client to find out everything about what happened to cause the client to be suspected of committing a crime of child abuse.
The defense attorney also examines the statements of witnesses, the statements of the reporting individual or alleged victim, photographs, recordings, reports of an investigating agency such as Child Protective Services, and medical records if they exist, to see what the alleged evidence is.
Plea Bargain. Once the attorney has the best information about the case, which includes the full background of his client, witness statements, the evidence seized by the police and other important factors, the strengths of the defense case, and the weaknesses of the prosecutions case, he makes a presentation to the prosecutor and judge to negotiate a favorable plea bargain for his client.
A plea bargain can eliminate or reduce the charges, avoid time in jail, reduce the fines, and may allow for a modification to be built into the deal for a better result upon successful completion of probation.
If the plea bargain is acceptable to the client and the defense attorney, the case proceeds to sentencing in accordance with the terms of the plea bargain. If the plea bargain is not acceptable, the case continues to additional dates in court and head towards a trial.
Jury Trial. For cases that cannot be, or should not be, settled by way of a plea bargain, defense attorney Pflaum is ready to go to jury trial and win the case.
Defenses. Typical defenses at trial commonly include the following.
- Reasonable use of force
- No proof beyond a reasonable doubt
- Lack of witness corroboration
- Insufficiency of the evidence
- Lack of medical records corroboration
- Motive to lie
- Bias of the witness
- Improper police investigation
- Violation of constitutional rights
In very complicated cases of child abuse, it is often times necessary and helpful to rely on the testimony of an expert witness, such as a physician to disprove the allegations of child abuse.
CHILD ABUSE LAWS
A parent must provide a child with basic necessities. If the parent fails to provide basic necessities, such as food, shelter and medical care, it may be considered a violation of Penal Code 270.
A person who encourages a minor to commit a crime may be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor according to Penal Code 272.
A parent who harms a child, or puts the child in a position where the child may be harmed, can be charged with abusing or endangering the health of the child according to Penal Code 273a.
Any person who causes serious injury to a child can be charged with inflicting corporal injury upon a child according to Penal Code 273d.
A person who assaults a child resulting in death may be charged with assault on a child according to Penal Code 273ab.
These accusations can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon the circumstances.
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