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Child Neglect Charges in Texas

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Collin County Child Abuse LawyerA Texas couple was recently charged with child neglect after someone called police to request a welfare check be done for the couple’s two children. When police arrived at the couple’s complex, neighbors were able to provide additional information. According to several neighbors, the couple was “regularly under the influence of meth” resulting in the children being without any adult supervision for long periods of time. One neighbor reported on an incident where the couple’s two-year-old child got out of their apartment and was found outside at 3 a.m. The couple has been charged with child neglect and is being held on a $5,000 bond.

While Texas law has a very specific statute regarding child neglect, the determination of what constitutes child neglect can be subjective, especially to members of a jury. For example, leaving an 11-year-old child alone for an hour to run to the store can be considered reasonable by some parents, but other parents may think that the child is too young, and the parent is being neglectful.

If you have been accused of child neglect, a Collin County defense attorney can help.

How Does Texas Define Child Neglect?

Texas law requires all parents and legal guardians to provide “reasonable care” for their children. It is a parent’s legal responsibility to ensure the child is protected from situations that could cause risk to their safety and their well-being. If a parent fails to do this, they can be charged with child neglect.

According to the statute, the following are reasons why a parent can be charged:

  • Inflicting emotional or psychological abuse on a child

  • Placing the child in situations with the potential of emotional or physical abuse and/or failing to remove a child from such a situation

  • Failure to provide a child with food, clothing, or shelter

  • Failure to seek out medical care for a child, resulting in the risk of injury, disfigurement, or death

  • Inflicting physical injury or threatening to harm a child

  • Failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent another individual from physically harming the child

  • Exposing the child to sexual conduct harmful to their emotional or physical welfare or failing to protect the child from another individual harming the child

  • Encouraging or forcing a child to engage in pornography or other sexual conduct or allowing the child to engage in sexual activities

  • Proving the child with a controlled substance or allowing a child to use a controlled substance

Contact a Denton County Defense Attorney for Legal Assistance

If you have been charged with child neglect, the consequences can be serious. Not only is there potential jail time if you are found guilty, but you also risk losing custody of your child. Call The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. at 214-303-9600 to schedule a free consultation with a Plano, TX child neglect attorney and find out how our firm can help defend you against these charges.

 

Sources:

https://www.wboy.com/news/crime/boothsville-couple-charged-after-welfare-check-results-in-deputies-learning-they-were-under-the-influence-more-than-they-seem-sober-while-caring-for-2-children/

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/docs/fa/htm/fa.261.htm 

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