Our client, a sixteen year old mother of a three month old girl, was arrested for alleged child abuse. She allegedly threw a bottle at her two month old daughter, but missed, hitting the child’s carrier. The bottle bounced off the carrier, hitting the baby’s face and cutting her lip.
Our client immediately took the baby to the pediatrician’s office to have the laceration examined. She was evasive as to how the cut happened, which piqued the suspicions of the doctor. She was nervous and the doctor could see she had been using drugs, as she was still high when she was at the doctor’s office.
What One Should Learn from This Summary: Child abuse by sixteen-year old mom, our client. Client under the influence of drugs when she takes baby to doctor, who calls the Long Beach Police Department and DCFS. Greg Hill goes to police station immediately and later negotiates probation for the client.
The doctor reported our client to the Long Beach Police Department and filed a SCAR (Suspected Child Abuse Report) Report. The Long Beach Police Department then visited our client’s home to interview her and see the baby's injuries.
Upon arrival to our client’s house, officers observed drug paraphernalia in the open, but did nothing in response. They asked our client several questions and asked to see the baby. While the officers were at the location, a social worker arrived, interviewed our client and decided to take the baby into DCFS (Department of Child & Family Services) custody. The officers assisted the social worker by placing the child in the car seat and the social worker left with the baby.
Our client’s uncle called our office when the Long Beach Police asked to interview the client a second time. Greg Hill spoke with the uncle about the situation. The uncle told Greg that the police were quite familiar with the client, as she was stopped a few times before for possession of a controlled substance. The father of the baby refused to be involved with the client.
Greg went to the police station the very same day and was present during the police interview and attempted to control the scope of the questions. Nevertheless, our client was charged with one count of Child Abuse (Penal Code § 273 (a)), a misdemeanor.
Long Beach Superior Courthouse
Greg Hill then negotiated a plea bargain for our client in which she agreed to plea no contest to Penal Code § 273(a), but was spared time in custody. She was given two years of formal probation, ordered to pay a small fine of approximately $200, ordered to complete high school and complete an outpatient drug rehabilitation program.
As part of the plea bargain, our client’s daughter would be returned to her upon her completion of the drug rehabilitation program, which was supposed to be a minimum of eight weeks long. During the program, however, she could not see her daughter at all, which was extremely tough on her. However, the restriction was meant to allow her to complete her high school diploma and reflect upon what was taught to her in the drug rehabilitation program.
Our client indeed did complete the rehabilitation program and she was reunited with her child.
Had our client fought her case at trial and been found guilty, she faced a maximum of six months in the California Youth Authority, as our client was juvenile.
For more information about the issues in this case summary, click on the following articles:
- Conviction for Second Degree Murder by Child Neglect Upheld
- Systematic Child Abuse Over Time Supports Aggravated Mayhem Conviction
- What Is Formal Probation?