Category Archives:Child endangerment

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Toddler Mauled, Uncle Pleads Not Guilty to Child Endangerment

A grandmother and her son are behind bars on Tuesday for felony child endangerment in the death of 2-year-old Samuel “Eli” Zamudio. Eli was at his grandmother’s house, in Colton, being watched by his uncle, Marco Zamudio, on September 23, 2013 when he climbed out of the window and was fatally attacked by his grandmother’s pit bull.
Samuel’s grandmother, Eustulia Zamudio, 42, and his uncle, Marco Zamudio, 23, were booked Tuesday morning on suspicion of child endangerment leading to death. The San Bernardino County District Attorney dropped charges against Eustulia on Wednesday because she was not home at the time of the mauling. Marco Zamudio pleaded not guilty to child cruelty charges Wednesday.

Samuel was attacked when he leaned out a window of the home and was then dragged across the backyard. His grandmother, who owns the home, discovered him later. Marco was at the home with Samuel and was in charge of watching over him, prosecutors contend.

Family members believe the death was merely an unfortunate accident, claiming that Marco fell asleep after working all night. The search for Samuel began around 5 p.m. on September 23. It ended about 30 minutes later Samuel’s grandmother found Samuel’s body with bite wounds to his head and neck in the family’s backyard.

Animal Control officers took custody of five pit bull mixes at the scene of the attack. It was not immediately clear how many of the dogs were involved.

California Penal Code 273a PC punished acts of child endangerment. In California, a child endangerment conviction does not require that any child suffer an actual injury. Therefore, it is easy for innocent people to face prosecution under California child endangerment laws. 

A criminal conviction is costly. It is possible that you may serve time in prison, disrupting your career and family life. Also, its possible that you will have to pay heavy restitution fines, resulting in financial woes. Your record may be stained by such convictions, and your reputation may suffer. Our goal at Don Ho Law is to provide an aggressive and comprehensive defense for those accused of a crime throughout Southern California. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, contact Don Ho Law today.

Published by Don Ho LawDon Ho is an experienced criminal defense attorney who serves Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange Counties.

Dwayne Wade Calls Foul: Ex Violates Visitation Order

One of the hardest parts of divorce can be losing daily contact with your child. This can be especially difficult when the court issues a custody and visitation order that you think is unfair. Either parent, custodial or non-custodial, might want to ignore the visitation terms of the order. However, a California parent who violates a visitation agreement can face contempt charges among other penalties.
In the midst of the NBA Finals games, Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade has had to deal with his ex-wife’s violations of their visitation arrangement. The star is the father of two boys and is one of the few male professional athletes who have been awarded custody of his children. After a recent visit with her children, though, Wade’s ex-wife failed to return the children.
Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade (Photo credit: Keith Allison)
His sister was to pick up the children from the mother’s house and then take them to Miami so they could spend Father’s Day with Wade. However, when the sister went to pick up the children, there was no response at the house. After several hours, the sister called the police and was finally able to get the boys who were then flown to Miami to be with their father. The mother was charged with attempted child abduction, resisting arrest and unlawful visitation interference.
Wade has asked that the mother’s visitation rights be suspended after the violation. Not only is it troubling for a parent when the other refuses to cooperate with agreements, but it can be frightening for a child as well. Courts and law enforcement officials can get involved in these situations because of the danger that a child may be in.
It can be frustrating and upsetting when a parent violates the terms of a child support or custody order arrangement. From payment schedules to visitation hours, the guidelines of these agreements must be followed or a parent can face serious consequences.
You Can Enforce a Visitation Order
The parent who has not violated the visitation terms of a custody order can always take the other parent back to court to get the order enforced. This might happen if the child the parent lives with refuses to turn the child over to the other parent for visitation time. 
Conversely, the non-custodial parent might refuse to return the child after visitation. Judges will generally order make-up time to the parent who lost visitation with the child because of the other parent’s refusal. Many courts will also order both parents to attend counseling or mediation.
Contempt of Court for Violation of Visitation Order
When someone repeatedly abuses a visitation order, a judge can find that parent in contempt of court. This usually results in the violating parent having to pay the other parent’s attorney’s fees and legal fees for bringing the problem to the attention of a judge. Contempt can also result in the violating parent serving jail time. Usually, this is only for a short period of time if the parent promises to follow the visitation terms of the custody order in the future.
Criminal Charges for Violation of Visitation Order
In some states, interference with the visitation terms of a custody order  is a criminal offense. This is particularly true if the parent abuses the court order repeatedly. Some states are less strict about criminal charges than others. In some areas, the violating parent must keep the child for a period of days, in spite of the other parent’s objections, before the police will become involved.
Child Endangerment Changes the Rules
In some situations, a custodial parent can refuse to turn the child over for visitation. If the other parent has been drinking alcohol and is driving, for example, the custodial parents would be within rights to cancel the visit. If there is evidence that the child is being abused in the custodial parent’s home, a non-custodial parent can refuse to return a child to this dangerous environment. Since these situations are serious, you might need the help of an attorney to bring the problem to the attention of a judge
A Family Law Lawyer Can Help
California child custody is a complex issue that often requires legal assistance to handle. If court ordered custody and/or visitation have not been established, a parent will need to seek this type of ruling to ensure unhampered visitation.

Legal updates brought to you by the reputable Orange and Riverside County Law Firm firm of Don Ho, LLP.

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