The statue for child abuse or endangering the health of a child is as follows:
PC 273a Abusing, or Endangering Health of a Child-- punishment
(a) Any person who, under circumstances or conditions likely to produce great bodily harm or death, willfully causes or permits any child to suffer, or inflicts thereon unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, or having the care or custody of any child, willfully causes or permits the person or health of that child, or willfully causes or permits that child to be placed in a situation where his or her person or health is endangered, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or in the state prison for two, four, or six years.
PC 273a(b) Any person who, under circumstances or conditions other than those likely to produce great bodily harm or heath, willfully causes or permits any child to suffer, or inflicts thereon unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, or having the care or custody of any child, willfully causes or permits that person or health of that child to be injured, or willfully causes or permits that child to be placed in a situation where his or her person or health may be endangered, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(c) If a person is convicted of violating this section and probation is granted, the court shall require the following conditions of probation:
(1) 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 48 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 approved by the probation department. 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 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 conditions would not be in the best interests of justice. The court shall state on the record its reasons for any waiver
Abuse or endangerment of a child is a very sensitive topic in society and the court system. When children or abuse is alleged, people want to punish the accused. They want to help the victim, and stop the abuse. However, many times these cases involve distorted facts, growing pains that child goes through at various stages of maturity, or family issues such as divorce that influence the facts provided to authorities and used to base their decision to prosecute upon. I is advised that any person defending against criminal allegations consult with a criminal defense attorney to advise them how to proceed with their case. (See PC 270 Child Neglect)