Briles pleaded guilty to a felony count of child abuse and endangerment and a misdemeanor count of resisting an officer, the Orange County District Attorney's Office.
Briles was sentenced to three years' formal probation, a year of a child-abusers treatment program, and 180 days in a Veterans Administration residential treatment program.
The OCDA objected to the sentence, wanting additional jail time for Briles.
Briles is accused of throwing his 7-year-old son overboard while on a ferry boat in Newport Harbor. Briles was intoxicated at the time. Witnesses said he had poked his son in the chest and repeatedly slapped him, then threw him overboard approximately 10 feet.
The boy landed in the path of busy boat traffic, and the boat captain made maneuvers to protect him from oncoming traffic.
Briles then jumped in the water to avoid angry passengers. He then struggled with Orange County Sheriff's deputies as they arrested him.