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What Is the Difference Between Injury to a Child and Child Endangerment?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Fort Worth Criminal Defense AttorneyA person who is accused of committing crimes against children will often struggle to defend against these types of criminal charges. In addition to facing prosecution by law enforcement officials, a person’s reputation and standing in the community may be damaged. In these situations, a person will need to understand the nature of the specific charges they have been accused of. It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between charges such as injury to a child and child endangerment, but with the help of a criminal defense lawyer, a person can determine how these charges may apply in their situation while also creating an effective defense strategy.

Charges Involving Child Injuries and Risky Situations

The offense of injury to a child may apply in situations where a person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused a child who was 14 years old or younger to suffer a bodily injury or a serious mental deficiency or impairment. If a person intentionally or knowingly caused a child to suffer a serious bodily injury that put them at risk of death, permanent disfigurement, loss of a limb or organ, or a serious mental impairment, they may be charged with a first-degree felony. If a person caused a serious bodily injury or a serious mental impairment by acting recklessly, meaning that they were aware of a substantial risk of injury but disregarded these risks, they may be charged with a second-degree felony.

In cases involving less serious bodily injuries to children, which may include any form of physical pain, illness, or impairment, a person may be charged with a third-degree felony if an injury was inflicted intentionally or knowingly. If an injury was inflicted recklessly, a person may be charged with a state jail felony. If a person causes any type of injury to a child because of criminal negligence, they may be charged with a state jail felony. Criminal negligence involves a failure to perceive a substantial risk that an ordinary and reasonable person would have been aware of.

While charges of injury to a child will usually apply in situations where a child suffers injuries, charges of child endangerment may apply if a child is placed in a situation where they are in imminent danger of being injured or killed. These may include any cases in which a person knowingly, intentionally, recklessly, or with criminal negligence acted or failed to act, placing a child who is 14 years old or younger at risk of harm. This offense is typically charged as a state jail felony. However, if a person is accused of intentionally abandoning a child in circumstances that would place the child at risk of suffering a bodily injury or death, they may be charged with a second-degree felony.

Contact Our Plano Crimes Against Children Defense Attorney

If you have been accused of injuring or endangering a child, The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. can advise you of your rights, help you determine your best defense strategy, and provide you with legal representation during your case. Contact our Fort Worth criminal defense lawyer by calling 214-303-9600 to arrange a complimentary consultation.

Sources:

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

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.6.htm

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/docs/PE/htm/PE.1.htm

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