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What Constitutes “Injury to a Child” in Texas?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

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.

For the purposes of this statute, a child is defined as someone 14 years old or younger. An elderly person is aged 65 years or older. Lastly, a disabled person is someone who has a developmental disability, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, mental illness, traumatic brain injury (TBI), severe emotional disturbance, or for other reasons cannot adequately protect him or herself from harm.

Penalties for an Injury to a Child Conviction

The severity of criminal penalties for an Injury to a Child conviction depends on the circumstances of the crime. Knowingly causing serious bodily injury or death to a child is a first-degree felony in Texas. If convicted, you could be sentenced to life in prison. Causing serious injury to a child through a reckless or negligent act is a second-degree felony offense punishable by up to 20 years’ incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000. Causing bodily injury to a child due to criminal negligence is a state jail felony offense punishable by up to two years in state jail and up to a $10,000 fine.

Contact a Collin County Crimes Against Children Lawyer

If you have been accused of causing harm to a child, you could face devastating criminal and personal consequences. Being convicted of a crime such as Injury to a Child has the potential to negatively affect the rest of your life. For sound legal guidance from an experienced Plano, Texas criminal defense attorney, contact The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. Throughout her career, criminal defense attorney Darlina Crowder has secured more than 200 acquittals and not guilty verdicts for her clients. Schedule a free confidential consultation at our office by calling us at 214-303-9600 today.

 

Source:
https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.22.htm#22.04

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