For second and subsequent offenses, which may be felony or misdemeanor, the same penalties (AB2187, 1998)
Probation and mandatory counseling may be granted to the offender, but the bill as written also provides for "protecting the victim from further acts or threats," which comes down to mandating sobriety on one hand and separating mother and child on the other--at the court's sole discretion. The text of the bill implies that probation would be granted only on a first offense and that the sentencing court would be empowered to order random testing of offenders, both before and after the birth of the child at issue.
The fact that AB2187 died in committee indicates that controversy surrounded its passage and that cosponsorship of it did not carry the weight necessary to influence legislators in its favor. The last action on the bill was its first committee hearing, on April 21, 1998, where it failed passage, although the on-line history of the bill, derived from the California State Senate's Internet site (www.sen.ca.gov), shows that reconsideration was granted. This indicates that, as of late 1998, the issue is not dead and that some version of an act to amend Section 273a of California's Penal Code, relating to child abuse, may reappear in legislative and public discourse in California in 1999 or afterward.
The issue to which AB2187 pertains is,