California has strict laws against child abuse, endangerment and pornography. A child is defined as any age under the age of 18. It holds individuals that place children in dangerous situations accountable. Both child abuse and endangerment are caused by physical abuse, emotional abuse or neglect. Most parents don't realize this but they put their own children in these situations when they put them in an unsafe environment. On the other hand child pornography has developed into a serious offense with exploiting sexual images and sexual abuse of a child. It is important to realize that these images are crime scene photos and are a permanent record of child abuse. The mistreatment of children raises several legal issues and even political issues that our laws continue to change. Each of these crimes leaves children with long lasting scars. Even innocent until proven guilty is not always the case, as media loves to report such cases as monsters to the public. That is why it is wise to have a good defense in these types of child case, because many are entrapped or innocent. California Penal Code 273a, 273d, 311.3, 311.11.
Emotion Child Abuse Signs:
- Child shows fear and withdraws.
- Child is aggressive in behavior.
- Child suffers from depression.
Physical Child Abuse Signs:
- Child has unexplained injuries.
- Child is always scared.
- Child wears abnormal clothing.
Neglect Child Abuse Signs:
- Child is always dirty or bad hygiene.
- Child is unsupervised or out too late.
- Child is missing school.
Sexual Child Abuse Signs:
- Child has trouble sitting or walking.
- Child has unusual seductive behavior.
- Child has torn or bloody clothes.
California Penal Code 273a
273ab. (a) Any person, having the care or custody of a child who is under eight years of age, who assaults the child by means of force that to a reasonable person would be likely to produce great bodily injury, resulting in the child's death, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for 25 years to life. Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting the applicability of subdivision (a) of Section 187 or Section 189. (b) Any person, having the care or custody of a child who is under eight years of age, who assaults the child by means of force that to a reasonable person would be likely to produce great bodily injury, resulting in the child becoming comatose due to brain injury or suffering paralysis of a permanent nature, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life with the possibility of parole. As used in this subdivision, “paralysis” means a major or complete loss of motor function resulting from injury to the nervous system or to a muscular mechanism.
California Penal Code 273d
(a) Any person who willfully inflicts upon a child any cruel or inhuman corporal punishment or an injury resulting in a traumatic condition is guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison 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. (b) Any person who is found guilty of violating subdivision (a) shall receive a four-year enhancement for a prior conviction of that offense provided that no additional term shall be imposed under this subdivision for any prison term served prior to a period of 10 years in which the defendant remained free of both prison custody and the commission of an offense that results in a felony conviction. (c) If a person is convicted of violating this section and probation is granted, the court shall require the following minimum conditions of probation: (1) A mandatory minimum period of probation of 36 months. (2) A criminal court protective order protecting the victim from further acts of violence or threats, and, if appropriate, residence exclusion or stay-away conditions. (3) (A) Successful completion of no less than one year of a child abuser's treatment counseling program. The defendant shall be ordered to begin participation in the program immediately upon the grant of probation. The counseling program shall meet the criteria specified in Section 273.1. The defendant shall produce documentation of program enrollment to the court within 30 days of enrollment, along with quarterly progress reports. (B) The terms of probation for offenders shall not be lifted until all reasonable fees due to the counseling program have been paid in full, but in no case shall probation be extended beyond the term provided in subdivision (a) of Section 1203.1. If the court finds that the defendant does not have the ability to pay the fees based on the defendant's changed circumstances, the court may reduce or waive the fees. (4) If the offense was committed while the defendant was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the defendant shall abstain from the use of drugs or alcohol during the period of probation and shall be subject to random drug testing by his or her probation officer. (5) The court may waive any of the above minimum conditions of probation upon a finding that the condition would not be in the best interests of justice. The court shall state on the record its reasons for any waiver.
California Penal Code 311.3
(a) A person is guilty of sexual exploitation of a child if he or she knowingly develops, duplicates, prints, or exchanges any representation of information, data, or image, including, but not limited to, any film, filmstrip, photograph, negative, slide, photocopy, videotape, video laser disc, computer hardware, computer software, computer floppy disc, data storage media, CD-ROM, or computer-generated equipment or any other computer-generated image that contains or incorporates in any manner, any film or filmstrip that depicts a person under the age of 18 years engaged in an act of sexual conduct. (b) As used in this section, “sexual conduct” means any of the following: (1) Sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex or between humans and animals. (2) Penetration of the vagina or rectum by any object. (3) Masturbation for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer. (4) Sadomasochistic abuse for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer. (5) Exhibition of the genitals or the pubic or rectal area of any person for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer. (6) Defecation or urination for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer. (c) Subdivision (a) does not apply to the activities of law enforcement and prosecution agencies in the investigation and prosecution of criminal offenses or to legitimate medical, scientific, or educational activities, or to lawful conduct between spouses. (d) Every person who violates subdivision (a) shall be punished by a fine of not more than two thousand dollars ($2,000) or by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment. If the person has been previously convicted of a violation of subdivision (a) or any section of this chapter, he or she shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison. (e) The provisions of this section do not apply to an employee of a commercial film developer who is acting within the scope of his or her employment and in accordance with the instructions of his or her employer, provided that the employee has no financial interest in the commercial developer by which he or she is employed. (f) Subdivision (a) does not apply to matter that is unsolicited and is received without knowledge or consent through a facility, system, or network over which the person or entity has no control.
California Penal Code 311.11
(a) Every person who knowingly possesses or controls any matter, representation of information, data, or image, including, but not limited to, any film, filmstrip, photograph, negative, slide, photocopy, videotape, video laser disc, computer hardware, computer software, computer floppy disc, data storage media, CD-ROM, or computer generated equipment or any other computer-generated image that contains or incorporates in any manner, any film or filmstrip, the production of which involves the use of a person under the age of 18 years, knowing that the matter depicts a person under the age of 18 years personally engaging in or simulating sexual conduct, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 311.4, is guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison, or a county jail for up to one year, or by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or by both the fine and imprisonment. (b) Every person who commits a violation of subdivision (a), and who has been previously convicted of a violation of this section, an offense requiring registration under the Sex Offender Registration Act, or an attempt to commit any of the above-mentioned offenses, is guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, four, or six years. (c) It is not necessary to prove that the matter is obscene in order to establish a violation of this section. (d) This section does not apply to drawings, figurines, statues, or any film rated by the Motion Picture Association of America, nor does it apply to live or recorded telephone messages when transmitted, disseminated, or distributed as part of a commercial transaction.
Federal Child Laws
Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (42 U.S.C.A. §§ 5105–5106) became law, authorizing federal funding for states to identify child abuse and to offer protective services for abused children.
Federal prosecutors enforce the laws that make it a crime to possess, receive, distribute or produce child pornography in a way that affects interstate or foreign commerce. See 18 U.S.C. §§ 2251, 2252, 2252A. Thus, federal jurisdiction is implicated when the visual image is transported across state lines, or when the visual image was produced using materials that were transported across state lines. It is important to note that this set of requirements covers transporting pornographic materials depicting children electronically by computer. Child pornography is defined by law as the visual depiction of a person under the age of 18 engaged in sexually explicit conduct. See 18 U.S.C. §§ 2256(1) and (8).