What Are the Criminal Charges for Injuring a Child in Texas?
There are a variety of situations where a person may be accused of committing crimes against children. These offenses may be classified into multiple different categories, and many of the most serious offenses involve sexual assault, sexual exploitation, or child abuse. However, a person may also face criminal charges in other situations where they are accused of causing injury to a child. By understanding when these charges may apply and the potential consequences of a conviction, a person can determine their best options for defense.
Texas Charges for Injury to a Child
The Texas Penal Code details the criminal charges that a person may face if they are accused of causing a child (defined as a person under the age of 15) to suffer a bodily injury or a serious mental injury or impairment. The specific charges and penalties will depend on the severity of the injury and whether a person acted intentionally, recklessly, or negligently. Charges may include:
Causing a serious bodily injury - If a person intentionally caused a child to suffer serious bodily harm, meaning that the child suffered a disability or disfigurement or was placed at substantial risk of being killed, the person may face first-degree felony charges. In these cases, a conviction may result in a prison sentence of between five and 99 years. If a child was injured because a person acted recklessly, meaning that they were aware of substantial risks but consciously chose to ignore these risks, they may face second-degree felony charges. A second-degree felony conviction may result in a prison sentence of between two and 20 years.
Causing other types of bodily injuries - If a child suffered more minor injuries, which may include any type of physical pain or impairment, a person who allegedly caused these injuries may face felony charges. Intentionally causing a bodily injury to a child is a third-degree felony, and a person who is convicted may be sentenced to between two and 10 years in prison.
Causing an injury through negligence - Criminal negligence involves situations where a person should have been aware that their actions put others at substantial risk of harm, and they caused others to suffer injuries due to their failure to notice or avoid these risks. If a person allegedly caused an injury to a child through criminal negligence, they may be charged with a state jail felony, and a conviction may lead to a prison sentence of between six months and two years.
Contact Our Plano Crimes Against Children Defense Attorneys
There are many different situations where charges of injury to a child may apply. Parents or other family members may be accused of intentionally causing harm to a child, or teachers or child care workers may need to defend against claims that they acted negligently and failed to take the proper safety precautions. At The Crowder Law Firm, P.C., we can provide a strong defense against these charges, and we will help determine the best strategy to avoid a conviction. To set up a free consultation and get the legal representation you need, contact our Collin County injury to a child defense lawyers at 214-303-9600.