Houman Fakhimi

Dad Charged for Allegedly Throwing Son Overboard in Santa Ana

An Irvine man faces charges of child endangerment, a felony, after authorities allege he threw his 7-year-old son over a boat during a cruise when the boy wouldn't stop crying, The Orange County Register is reporting.

The 35-year-old man also faces a misdemeanor charge of resisting and delaying officers after the incident, which happened August 28, the newspaper reports.

This is a case of parental discipline gone wrong and the father now faces a potential prison sentence as a result. Charges of child abuse in Santa Ana are particularly difficult because when children are considered victims, the state can be particularly aggressive in determining which charges to file and how many.

That's why an experienced and aggressive Santa Ana Criminal Defense Attorney is needed in order to defend against these serious allegations.

In this case, child endangerment in California is defined under California Penal Code 273a.

Under that code of law, a person can be charged with the felony version of child endangerment if they are "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," willfully causes pain or puts them in a position where they are endangered. Under that law, a person who is convicted could be sentenced to two, four or six years in a state prison.

If there are other scenarios in which a child could be placed in danger other than those described above, a person can face a misdemeanor. If a person is sentenced to probation in lieu of prison time, the law mandates the person spent 48 months on probation. They may also be ordered to stay away from the child and must complete one year of child abuser's treatment.

In this case, the man and his son were aboard the Queen, a tour boat, when the man allegedly was under the influence of alcohol when he repeatedly poked his son in the chest and slapped him before tossing him 10 feet down into the water, prosecutors allege. They say the boy was thrown into the path of oncoming boat traffic.

Authorities allege he was on board with his girlfriend and two sons when the incident occurred. Police say he made no effort to save his son, but rather jumped off the boat only to avoid other passengers, who were angry at him.

A boat captain had to maneuver to avoid hitting the boy, who stayed afloat until a captain of another boat tossed him a life ring and carried him to safety. The man is scheduled for arraignment in the coming weeks.

Given the high-profile nature of the case, an Orange County Defense Attorney must be able to control the news media. A defendant has a right to a fair trial, and that includes not having the potential jury pool tainted by one-sided media reports of what the prosecution and police say happened. This pre-trial work is also an important as the defense prepares for trial.

Contact an Orange County criminal defense attorney at (714) 705-6701 as soon as possible if you are charged with a crime. Protecting your rights and setting up an aggressive defense at the beginning stages is critical in defending against criminal charges.