Inflicting Physical Punishment On A Child PC 273d(a) (Penal Code 273d(a))
Crime: Inflicting Physical Punishment On A Child
Code Section: Penal Code 273d(a) (click here to view the statute)
Related CALCRIM: 822
PC 273d(a) Brief Summary:
Penal Code 273d(a) addresses situations where a person inflicts physical punishment on a child resulting in a “traumatic condition.” A “traumatic condition” can be any physical injury that is inflicted on another person, whether minor or serious. This tends to be one of the more difficult charges for the government to prove because of the wide range of opinions as to what is acceptable and reasonable child discipline. Nevertheless, the charge should not be taken lightly. When parents or guardians of a child are convicted of this crime, the potential consequences may be more serious in that a conviction it could jeopardize their child custody rights.
PC 273d(a) Elements:
To prove someone guilty of this crime, the government must prove:
- The defendant inflicted cruel or inhuman physical punishment or injury on a child;
- The punishment or injury inflicted caused a traumatic condition to the child;
- When the defendant injured or punished the child it was not a result of reasonable child discipline.
PC 273d(a) Punishment:
Penal Code 273d(a) is punishable as either a felony or as a misdemeanor. Potential exposure for a felony conviction is two, four, or six years served in county jail. In contrast, a misdemeanor conviction carries a maximum sentence of up to a year in county jail. Probation can be granted for this offense if the defendant is not sentenced to prison, but if probation is granted for this charge, probation must be for a minimum of three years, a protective order protecting the child must be issued, and the person convicted is required to take a year-long parenting course, absent a special finding by the judge. Other fines, fees, and possible probation terms could be applied.
PC 273d(a) Lesser Included Offenses:
A lesser included offense is one that contains all of the elements of the charged offense, but for which the consequences are less severe. Typically, a conviction for a lesser included offense only occurs when there is no conviction for the more serious offense. An attempt is often times a lesser included offense to a charged offense and occurs when the defendant intended and tried to commit the charged offense, but for whatever reason, was unable to finish committing that crime. The following are other lesser included offenses for Penal Code 243(e)(1):
- Penal Code 240-Simple Assault
- Penal Code 242-Battery
PC 273d(a) Related Charges:
- Penal Code 273a(a)-Child Abuse
- Penal Code 273b(a)-Child Endangerment
- Penal Code 273.5(a)-Domestic Violence
Charged with domestic violence?