Video of Toddler Smoking Marijuana Leads to Child Endangerment Charges
The public’s opinion of drugs and alcohol has changed dramatically throughout our nation’s history. Alcohol was common in many American homes until the 18th Amendment banned the consumption of liquor, beer, and wine in 1919. Then, the 21st Amendment repealed the ban on the manufacture and consumption of alcohol. Today, marijuana is a subject of great controversy across the United States. Some consider it a dangerous “gateway drug” while others believe that the substance offers significant medicinal benefits. Although the laws surrounding drugs and alcohol are constantly changing, one certainty has remained consistent: Drugs and alcohol should not be consumed by children. Allowing a child to consume drugs or alcohol or consuming an illicit substance in the presence of a child can result in child endangerment charges.
Criminal Charges Can Result from Exposing a Child to Danger
Children are unable to adequately provide for their own safety. Consequently, they are dependent on adults to protect them from harm. When an adult fails to protect a child or allows a child to be in a dangerous situation, he or she may be charged with the criminal offense of child endangerment. One Texas woman was recently arrested and charged with child endangerment after a video surfaced of the woman allowing her 3-year-old brother to smoke marijuana. The video, which was shared on Facebook and quickly shared with Texas police, shows the boy’s 18-year-old sister and another individual actively encouraging the toddler to inhale. Child Protective Services is currently investigating the situation. It is unknown if further criminal charges will be brought against the young boy’s parents. If the sister is convicted of child endangerment, she faces up to two years of imprisonment in a Texas state jail facility.
Actions that Can Lead to Accusations of Child Endangerment
Most reasonable adults realize that encouraging a child to consume illicit substances is unlawful and unethical. However, even well-intentioned parents or adult caretakers can find themselves facing child endangerment charges. Texas law states that an individual commits child endangerment if he or she knowingly or negligently acts in a way that places a child under 15 years old in danger of injury, death, or mental impairment. Child endangerment charges may result from driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a child passenger, exposing a child to sexual activity, allowing children to be in the presence of unsecured firearms, hiring a nanny or babysitter with a history of child sex abuse, and more.
Contact a Collin County Child Endangerment Lawyer
A conviction for endangering a child can result in criminal penalties as well as significant personal consequences. If you or a loved one has been charged with child endangerment, contact The Crowder Law Firm P.C. for help defending yourself against these accusations. Attorney Darlina Crowder has secured more than 200 not-guilty verdicts and acquittals during her legal career. Call our office today at 214-303-9600 and schedule a free, confidential consultation with a skilled Plano, Texas criminal defense attorney.