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Tarrant County child abuse defense attorney

The terms “domestic violence” and “abuse” are used so often, it can be hard to know exactly what they mean. For example, is spanking your child after he or she misbehaves considered child abuse? What about forcefully grabbing your child’s arm when he or she is about to run into a busy street? Can non-physical actions like shouting at a child result in domestic violence charges? Being convicted of a crime against a child can result in life-changing consequences. You may lose the right to spend time with your child or may only get to see him or her under close supervision. You may even face years in prison. If you or a loved one has been accused of child abuse, child sexual abuse, injury to a child, domestic violence, or a similar crime, speak to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible so you can start building a strong defense against these charges.

Definition of “Abuse” Under Texas Law

According to the Texas Family Code, abuse of a child includes:

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Forth Worth crimes against children attorney

Criminal consequences for crimes against children in Texas can be life-changing. If you are convicted of child pornography, sexual assault of a child, kidnapping and abduction, or a similar offense, you could face years behind bars and a lifetime of stigma. You may also be required to register as a sex offender and appear on the public sex offender registry. Even false allegations of any criminal act can dramatically damage your reputation. If you have been accused of a crime against a child, there are several steps that you should immediately take in order to give you the best possible chances of avoiding a conviction.

Do Not Say Anything to Police Until Your Lawyer Is Present

You have probably heard the phrase, “You have the right to remain silent” in the past, but you may be unsure as to what this actually means. In the United States, anyone who has been placed under arrest has the right to remain silent and not respond to police questioning. Never allow police to interrogate you without your lawyer present. An experienced criminal defense attorney will ensure that your rights are not violated and that you do not inadvertently say something that could incriminate you.

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Dallas sexual assault defense attorney statutory rape

The age of consent is 17 in Texas. This means that, according to Texas law, individuals under 17 years of age are incapable of consenting to sex or sexual contact with an adult. The crime commonly referred to as “statutory rape” falls under the law prohibiting the sexual assault of a child in Texas. If you have been accused of sexual assault against someone under age 17, you could face serious, life-altering criminal consequences. It is essential to consult with a criminal defense attorney experienced in handling cases involving crimes against children as soon as possible.

What if the Sex Was “Consensual?”

Most people know that forcing someone to have sex against his or her will is wrong both ethically and legally. However, you may not realize that you can be charged with sexual assault against a child even if you did not force the alleged victim to participate in the sexual act. Because the age of consent is 17 in Texas, it is against the law for an adult to have sex with someone aged 16 years or younger, even if the underaged person did not object to the sexual activity. This is true even if the defendant did not know that the alleged victim was under age 17.

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Fort Worth child pornography defense attorney

While all criminal charges have the potential to be life-changing, being accused of a crime against a child can be especially disastrous. If you have been charged with an offense related to child pornography in Texas, you should not take these charges lightly. If convicted, you could face incarceration, substantial fines, plus a lifetime of stigma. A qualified criminal defense lawyer with experience fighting child pornography charges can help you understand your legal options if you have been accused of possessing, creating, or distributing child pornography.

Possession of Child Pornography 

Title 9 of the Texas Penal Code addresses crimes related to child pornography. In Texas, it is against the law to produce, distribute, or possess media depicting a person under age 18 engaging in sexual conduct. This can include still photographs, videos, and other materials. Sexual conduct is defined in the law as actual or simulated intercourse, masturbation, deviate sexual intercourse, sexual bestiality, lewd exhibition of the genitals, anus, or female breast, and sadomasochistic abuse. If you are convicted of viewing or possessing child pornography, you face a third-degree felony punishable by 2 to 10 years of incarceration and a fine up to $10,000. If you have previously been convicted of possessing child pornography, the offense is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. A third or subsequent child pornography conviction carries penalties including up to 99 years of imprisonment.

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Dallas kidnapping and abduction defense attorney

Being charged with a criminal offense related to kidnapping, child abducting, unlawful restraint, or smuggling of persons should never be taken lightly. The criminal penalties for these crimes vary depending on the circumstances, but some can result in a lifetime of incarceration. False allegations about holding a child against his or her will can stem from a malicious ex-spouse or other individual, or they may simply be the result of a misunderstanding. If you have been falsely accused of kidnapping or abduction, you need to speak with a criminal defense attorney immediately to learn how best to defend against these serious accusations.

Texas Laws Regarding Kidnapping and Aggravated Kidnapping

Texas statutes state that an individual commits the crime of kidnapping if he or she knowingly abducts another individual. “Abduct” is defined as restraining another person with the intent to prevent his or her freedom by either holding him or her somewhere that he or she cannot be found or through the threat or use of deadly force.

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Tarrant County child endangerment defense attorney

When it comes to children, the terms “neglect” and “abandonment” are often used together; however, these are two separate legal issues. Child neglect is a term used in the Texas Family Code to describe a situation in which a child is left unattended in an unsafe environment. Abandoning a child is defined in Texas Penal Code as not providing “reasonable and necessary care for the child” and leaving the child in a situation that most reasonable adults would not allow. If you have been charged with child abandonment in Texas, the penalties can be severe. Speaking with a criminal defense attorney experienced in handling crimes against children can help clear your name and avoid a criminal record.

Being Accused of Child Neglect

According to Texas law, parents are responsible for providing children with necessities like food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and appropriate supervision. The Texas Family Code identifies several acts that are considered neglect. These include but are not limited to:

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Fort Worth solicitation of a child defense attorney

The Internet has revolutionized the way that we communicate with each other. However, there are several ways that online discussions or digital communication can be a criminal offense. An individual can be charged with online solicitation of a minor if he or she uses the Internet to send sexually explicit messages or media to a child under 17 years old or to a person who the actor believes to be under 17 years old. A conviction for online solicitation has the potential to impact the rest of your life. If you or someone you know has been charged with solicitation of a child or any crime against children, you need to speak with a criminal defense attorney right away.

What Constitutes Solicitation of a Child in Texas?

According to the Texas Penal Code, a person over the age of 17 commits online solicitation of a child if he or she communicates with a child under 17 years old via email, the Internet, or text messages with the intention of committing one of the following crimes: trafficking of persons, indecency with a child, continuous sexual abuse of a child, sexual assault, prohibited sexual conduct, compelling prostitution, aggravated promotion of prostitution, possession or promotion of child pornography, or sexual performance by a child. An adult can also be charged with online solicitation of a child if he or she uses email, text messages, or a commercial service to intentionally solicit a minor to meet another individual, including himself or herself, for the purposes of sexual contact.

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Tarrant County child trafficking defense attorney

Human trafficking is the term used to describe the process through which individuals are transported for the purposes of forced labor and other exploitation. Children are often the victims of trafficking in Texas and throughout the United States. Nearly a quarter of the approximately 300,000 American children forced into sex trafficking every year live in Texas. Children involved in child trafficking may be tricked or forced into working in sweatshops, restaurants, brothels, escort operations, or worse. In some cases, children are forced into acting as child soldiers or domestic servants in other countries. Texas law carries stiff penalties for all human trafficking activities, but there are especially harsh criminal consequences for child trafficking. If you are charged with child trafficking in Texas, you could face years or even life in prison.

Defining Child Trafficking According to Texas Law

Texas statutes state that an individual commits trafficking of persons if he or she knowingly:

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Collin County crimes against children defense attorney

There is a significant amount of controversy surrounding corporal punishment in the United States. Some parents feel that spanking their children is an effective form of discipline, while others avoid any form of physical punishment. Data shows that the percentage of parents using corporal punishment is slowly declining. According to a study published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies, approximately 37 percent of children under 18 were spanked by a parent or guardian in 2014. It is important for any parent choosing to employ corporal punishment to understand when spanking or other physical punishments may break the law and be considered crimes against children.

Understanding Texas Law Regarding Bodily Injury to a Child

It can be hard to know exactly when the physical punishment of a child crosses the line into abuse. According to Texas law, hitting a child could constitute “assault bodily injury family violence” or “injury to a child” depending on the circumstances. The Texas Penal Code states that an individual commits injury to a child if he or she intentionally or recklessly causes bodily or mental injury to a child under 15 years of age. Assault with a bodily injury of a family member occurs when a person knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly causes pain, injury, illness, or impairment to a family member. Striking a child does fit these definitions; however, it is very unlikely that a parent or guardian would be convicted of these crimes for spanking alone.

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Dallas child exploitation defense attorney

Texas law prohibits certain activities from being committed against people who do not have the capacity to protect themselves or adequately look out for their own best interests. These individuals can include the elderly, disabled, and those under a certain age. The crime “Exploitation of Child, Elderly Individual, or Disabled Individual” is a serious offense under Texas law. If you are convicted of child exploitation, you may face years of incarceration and have your personal and professional reputation destroyed. It is crucial for anyone facing criminal charges related to child exploitation to speak with a criminal defense attorney experienced in defending against these types of serious allegations.

Defining Exploitation With Regard to Texas Law

Section 32 of the Texas Penal Code describes Exploitation of Child, Elderly Individual, or Disabled Individual and the criminal penalties associated with a conviction. An individual commits this crime if he or she knowingly or recklessly causes the exploitation of a disabled person, elderly individual, or child under age 14. Exploitation can include any activity which involves the improper or illegal use of a child, elderly person, or disabled person for personal or financial gain. Child exploitation can include coercing a child into sexual activities, forcing them to perform cheap labor, involving a child in drug running or sex trafficking, and more.  

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Plano injury to a child defense attorney

Crimes against children involve more negative stigma than perhaps any other criminal offense. If a person is convicted of a crime related to child abuse or sexual contact with a child, he or she could face years or even decades of personal and criminal consequences. The criminal offense “Injury to a Child” includes a wide range of actions against children or other vulnerable individuals. Section 22.04 of the Texas Penal Code describes the crime of Injury to a Child. If you are convicted of violating this statute, you could face heavy fines, years of incarceration, and significant damage to your reputation.

Understanding Texas Law Regarding Injury to a Child, Elderly Individual, or Disabled Individual

Texas law includes many different offenses under the umbrella of “Injury to a Child, Elderly Individual, or Disabled Individual.” You can be convicted of this offense if you knowingly, intentionally, recklessly, or by omission cause injury to a child, disabled person, or elderly person. “Injury” can include bodily injury as well as mental injury, deficiency, or impairment. You can also be charged with this crime if you owe a duty of care to the person in question, and your failure to act causes him or her to suffer an injury.

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Dallas child abuse defense attorney

Criminal offenses against children, such as possession of child pornography, sexual assault against a child, and child abuse, carry more stigma than almost any other crime. When an individual is accused of a crime such as these, he or she may lose friends, family members, his or her career, and more. This is why false allegations of child sexual abuse are such an alarming issue. A woman in Arkansas is now facing her own criminal charges after fabricating a story about her husband’s alleged crimes against children.

Woman Says She Found Explicit Images of Children on Her Husband’s Phone

In 2018, a 34-year-old Arkansas woman went to police to make a report of her husband’s alleged sexual assault and domestic violence. She claimed that she had caught her husband sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl and that her husband attacked her when she interrupted the alleged crime. She showed investigators a bruise from the supposed attack as well as pictures on her husband’s phone depicting child pornography. However, when investigators looked further into the woman’s allegations, they discovered that the truth was wildly different than what the woman had claimed.

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Fort Worth child crimes defense attorney

Fall is just around the corner, but the hot weather in Texas has not relented. Many news outlets have run stories about the dangers of leaving children in cars during hot weather. Even when the outside temperature is only in the 70s or 80s, the temperature inside a car can climb much higher. Children left in hot vehicles can quickly become overheated and even die due to the extreme temperatures. According to the nonprofit group Kids and Cars, over 600 children have passed away in hot cars in the United States since 1990. You probably know that leaving a child unattended in a vehicle is dangerous, but you may wonder if it is considered a crime. In certain circumstances, leaving a child in a vehicle unattended constitutes a criminal charge in Texas.

Texas Penal Code Regarding Children Left in Cars

According to Texas law, there are certain situations in which it is against the law to leave a child unsupervised in a vehicle. The Texas Penal Code states that is a Class C misdemeanor criminal offense to knowingly leave a child in a motor vehicle if the child is all of the following: 

  • Under the age of 7

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Plano sex crimes defense lawyer

Being charged with any type of crime can be a shocking and overwhelming experience. However, being accused of a crime you did not commit is perhaps one of the worst feelings in the world. This is especially true if you are facing criminal charges related to a sex crime against a child. Due to the heinous nature of child sexual abuse, many people accused of these crimes are treated as if an accusation alone proves their guilt. Fortunately, the United States Constitution protects criminal defendants’ rights to due process and to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. If you or a loved one has been charged with sexual assault of a child, it is imperative that you speak with an attorney experienced in defending against such serious accusations.

Texas Law Regarding Sexual Assault of a Minor

As in all other U.S. states, special laws exist in Texas to protect children from sexual contact with adults. Texas law considers a person under age 17 to be a child. The crime of sexual assault against a child is committed if an individual knowingly:

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Collin County child neglect defense lawyer

Every parent has their own unique parenting style, and rightfully so. Some parents get the nickname “helicopter parent” since they tend to be overprotective, while others are much more laid back, sometimes so much so that they are labeled a bad parent. Despite the preference of each parent, there are four common parenting styles: authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, and uninvolved. Authoritarian parents use punishments more than discipline, teaching their child obedience. Authoritative parents enforce the rules but in a more positive fashion. Permissive parents use the theory “kids will be kids,” allowing their kids to make their own rules. Uninvolved parents do not provide much guidance or attention and are fairly detached from their kids. One particular type of parenting has gained attention in recent years for its “laissez-faire” outlook on parenting, with some declaring that this style constitutes child neglect.

What Is "Free-Range Parenting?"

Free-range parenting gives kids a lot of freedom with less supervision. According to a clinical professor at Yale School of Medicine, “free-range parenting emphasizes the child’s functioning independently with judicious parental supervision.” This form of parenting does not mean there are no rules, but it allows kids to do many things on their own. The idea is to allow kids to make their own mistakes and learn from them without having their parents constantly by their side. The term was coined by Lenore Skenazy after she released an article about letting her 9-year-old son navigate the New York City subway alone. This story and this form of parenting have been under fire ever since. 

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Dallas sexual misconduct defense lawyer

In the United States, crimes against children are taken very seriously. In 2015, approximately 3.5 million students who were surveyed by the Stop Educator Sexual Abuse Misconduct & Exploitation organization reported having had physical sexual contact from an adult. Most often, these perpetrators were listed as teachers or coaches. When other types of sexual misconduct are included in the calculation, this number increases to 4.5 million children in 8th through 11th grades. These actions include exposure to pornography, sexually explicit language, or exhibitionism.

Due to the prevalence of sexual abuse by teachers or other people in positions of authority, teachers should be aware of the potential for accusations of having an inappropriate teacher-student relationship. These claims can not only lead to criminal charges, but they can also cause a great deal of damage to one's reputation and career. Teachers should be sure to understand the laws surrounding these types of cases and the potential consequences of an accusation.

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Fort Worth Internet sex crimes defense attorney

Today’s children have access to an overwhelming amount of technology and electronic devices. They do not know a world without smartphones, computers, or tablets. Teenagers, as well as young children, spend hours online playing games or browsing websites, videos, and social media pages. Easy access to the Web can make children vulnerable to online predators and consequently, may become victims of Internet sex crimes such as child pornography. Any crime against a child is taken seriously in the state of Texas, and it is important to know the legal consequences if you are accused of such crimes.

Types of Internet Sex Crimes

The Internet is one of the most convenient and useful technology tools available today. People of all ages use it to find information on a variety of subjects. However, sometimes the Internet can entice users to participate in immoral and illegal activities. Sex crimes have become more common with the advent of the Internet and online chat rooms, but in some cases, a person can be falsely accused of such a crime. It is important to understand what constitutes an Internet sex crime against a minor in case you face these types of allegations.  

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Whether it’s someone’s birthday or a national holiday, there is always something to celebrate. One of the main ingredients of any party or gathering is alcohol.

Unfortunately, the combination of alcohol consumption and driving once the party is over can result in a dangerous situation for party guests. Traffic deaths caused by driving under the influence occurs more frequently around major holidays.

If you plan on hosting a party where alcohol is involved, consider following these helpful tips to ensure your intoxicated guests do not get behind the wheel:

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