Which Behaviors Are Considered Child Abuse Under Texas Law?
Texas law enforcement, social workers, and mandated reporters like teachers, clergy, and daycare workers are always on the lookout for signs of child abuse. Unfortunately, overzealous citizens who mean well can cause major problems for parents who are simply raising their children the best way they see fit. Of course, even the best parent sometimes makes mistakes that may rise to the level of criminal child abuse, and these parents also deserve a second chance and the possibility of avoiding a conviction for any charges they face.
If you are being investigated for child abuse or are already facing charges, it is essential to retain the help of an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney with specific experience in crimes against children. A criminal defense attorney can help ensure you get fair treatment and know the status of your case at all times.
Child Abuse in Texas
Different people have different notions of what is considered abusive behavior. A parent who would never dream of spanking their child may be horrified at the kind of spanking that is standard in another parent’s home. Fortunately, for the purposes of criminal convictions, Texas law has defined child abuse. Behaviors that are considered child abuse include:
- Sexual behavior that is damaging to the child’s mental, physical, or emotional health - This includes sexual abuse, sexual assault, indecency with a child, and creating or allowing a child to be depicted in pornographic images, videos, and other depictions. It also includes child sex trafficking.
- Significant harm or the threat of significant harm caused by physical injury to a child
- Observable and substantial damage to a child’s psychological development caused by emotional harm
- Allowing a child to access or use controlled substances
While the law defines child abuse, there is still some interpretation as to whether specific incidents might be considered abuse by a judge or jury, especially because parents can defend certain behaviors as necessary to discipline their children. For example, spanking a child is a fairly common disciplinary behavior, while making a child eat food off the floor without a plate is not; however, if the latter is done because a child who is old enough to know better has been having a tantrum and throwing his food on the floor, would it be acceptable to make him then eat it off the floor? The wide variety of parenting scenarios makes situations like this common and your best bet for fighting allegations of abuse is the help of a criminal defense attorney.
Call a Plano, TX Criminal Child Abuse Defense Lawyer
Facing accusations or charges of criminal child abuse could not only impact your reputation and standing in your community, but it could threaten your ability to care for your child as well. Fight the charges against you with the help of an outstanding Collin County criminal child abuse defense attorney with The Crowder Law Firm, P.C.. Our goal is to protect your constitutional rights while ensuring you can do your job as a parent. Call us today at 214-303-9600 to schedule a free consultation.