Child Endangerment Abandonment Attorney – Houston, TX
Charges of child endangerment are serious cases. These cases range from abandoning a child or leaving a child without providing reasonable and necessary care. This can be leaving your child in a car at the store or having a child stay at home by themselves. The State of Texas takes these cases seriously The punishment for this offense could be a state jail felony, third degree felony, or a second degree felony depending on the facts of the case, thus ranging from 6 months to 20 years in jail.
In addition to the criminal aspect of facing a charge of child endangerment, typically Child Protective Services or CPS will get involved and do an investigation to determine whether to take your children out of your home. These situations are difficult because you must weigh possibly incriminating yourself in the CPS investigation against the possibility of losing your children. These situations require an attorney to properly advise you of your rights and diligently work to get your children back.
With the daily stresses of life and child care, there are many times where a simple decision could lead to criminal charges. Your typical child care could quit on you or you run into a store to pick something up and leave your sleeping child in their car seat, there are many innocent decisions that a good parent can make that could lead to criminal charges. Don’t let a mistake or bad decision ruin the rest of your life. Make sure you are represented by a Criminal Defense Attorney who will stand up for you and fight to keep your record clear. Contact our office immediately if you are facing a charge for child endangerment.
What is required to be charged with Child Endangerment?
In order to be charged with child endangerment you typically must abandon the child or place the child in danger by an act or omission. This could involve the child being exposed to or ingesting controlled substances. Per the statute, the elements are:
(a) In this section, “abandon” means to leave a child in any place without providing reasonable and necessary care for the child, under circumstances under which no reasonable, similarly situated adult would leave a child of that age and ability.
(b) A person commits an offense if, having custody, care, or control of a child younger than 15 years, he intentionally abandons the child in any place under circumstances that expose the child to an unreasonable risk of harm.
(c) A person commits an offense if he intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence, by act or omission, engages in conduct that places a child younger than 15 years in imminent danger of death, bodily injury, or physical or mental impairment.
(c-1) For purposes of Subsection (c), it is presumed that a person engaged in conduct that places a child in imminent danger of death, bodily injury, or physical or mental impairment if:
(1) the person manufactured, possessed, or in any way introduced into the body of any person the controlled substance methamphetamine in the presence of the child;
(2) the person’s conduct related to the proximity or accessibility of the controlled substance methamphetamine to the child and an analysis of a specimen of the child’s blood, urine, or other bodily substance indicates the presence of methamphetamine in the child’s body; or
(3) the person injected, ingested, inhaled, or otherwise introduced a controlled substance listed in Penalty Group 1, Section 481.102, Health and Safety Code , into the human body when the person was not in lawful possession of the substance as defined by Section 481.002(24) of that code.
(d) Except as provided by Subsection (e), an offense under Subsection (b) is:
(1) a state jail felony if the actor abandoned the child with intent to return for the child; or
(2) a felony of the third degree if the actor abandoned the child without intent to return for the child.
(e) An offense under Subsection (b) is a felony of the second degree if the actor abandons the child under circumstances that a reasonable person would believe would place the child in imminent danger of death, bodily injury, or physical or mental impairment.
(f) An offense under Subsection (c) is a state jail felony.
(g) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (c) that the act or omission enables the child to practice for or participate in an organized athletic event and that appropriate safety equipment and procedures are employed in the event.
(h) It is an exception to the application of this section that the actor voluntarily delivered the child to a designated emergency infant care provider under Section 262.302, Family Code .
Call a Houston Child Endangerment Lawyer
Henry K. Nguyen understands the seriousness of being charged with Child Endangerment and the stress that comes with it. He will help you through this difficult time, advise you, defend you, and help you get your life back. For a free legal consultation with Henry K. Nguyen, dial 713-222-1800.
Child Endangerment Attorney