Houston Child Abuse Charges Attorney
Allegations of child abuse can lead to public shock and outrage. Child abuse laws in Texas are complicated, encompassing several acts and omissions.
According to Texas law, child abuse is any reckless or intentional harm to a minor under the age of 14, causing bodily injury or serious mental deficiency or impairment. Additionally, an individual who has a legal or statutory duty towards a child, such as a parent or caregiver, can be charged with child abuse if he or she fails to guard the well-being of a child.
Examples of Felony Child Abuse in Texas
The Texas Family Code states that any of the following acts or omissions are considered child abuse:
- Allowing a child to be in any situation where physical, mental or emotional injury is imminent
- Causing or threatening mental, emotional or physical injury to a child
- Compelling or encouraging a child to engage in sexual conduct or pornography
- Failing to make a reasonable effort to prevent injury towards a child
- Allowing a child to use or possess drugs
- Using a controlled substance in a way that results in mental, emotional or physical injury to a child
Potential Penalties for Child Abuse Charges
As you can see, the acts that constitute child abuse are very diverse. Thus, the potential penalties for this crime vary greatly. A qualified child abuse charges attorney can help you understand all of the possible ramifications.
A person convicted of child abuse charges involving criminal negligence or reckless actions that result in bodily injury can be convicted of a state jail felony, which is punishable with 180 days to two years in state jail and/or a maximum $10,000 fine. On the contrary, anyone convicted of a child abuse offense involving intentional actions that result in bodily injury faces a third-degree felony, punishable by two to 10 years in prison and/or a maximum $10,000 fine.
The most serious charges arise from actions that cause serious bodily or mental injury. A person convicted of a child abuse offense involving reckless actions that result in serious bodily or mental injury can be convicted of a second-degree felony that is punishable with two to 20 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine. And anyone convicted of a child abuse charge involving intentional or knowing actions that result in serious mental or bodily injury faces a first-degree felony, punishable by a prison sentence of five to 99 years and/or a top fine of $10,000.
Defending Against Child Abuse Charges
A defendant can avoid the harsh criminal penalties for child abuse by proving that he did not have any intentions to injure the child in question. In other words, if a defendant is accused of physically harming his child, he can avoid a conviction by proving that the injury was accidental or by showing the court that he took all the necessary precautions, but the child was harmed anyway.
Meet With a Houston Child Abuse Lawyer
Since child abuse charges often develop from a variety of situations, seeking help from an experienced child abuse attorney, such as the skillful lawyers at the Miller Law Group, is the key to a successful defense.
Get in touch with Gary S. Miller at 713-866-6233 to schedule an appointment.