Injury to a Child

Many people take the protection of children very seriously, so child abuse is frequently reported even when there was no injury to a child. The crime of injury to a child under Texas Penal Code § 22.04 involves an alleged offender intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence causing serious bodily injury, serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury, or bodily injury to a child.

Prosecutors in Texas will often aggressively seek convictions carrying very steep punishments for alleged offenders accused of injury to a child, most of which are felony offenses. Convictions can also lead to very devastating court decisions regarding custody that can significantly limit the amount of time an alleged offender gets to spend with their child.

Injury to a Child

Denton, TX Injury to a Child Lawyer

If you were arrested for allegedly injuring a child in Lewisville, Denton, Flower Mound, or a surrounding area of Denton County, you cannot afford to delay in looking for a criminal defense attorney. The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy has defended many individuals who were accused of these crimes and has helped them overcome the criminal charges.

Our firm can be dedicated advocates for you in court and we will do whatever we can to make sure that you do not have to suffer any adverse consequences. Call (940) 222-8004 or contact us online to let us talk about your case with you during a free consultation.

Injury to a Child Charges in Texas

Texas Penal Code § 22.04 establishes that a person commits the crime of injury to a child (or elderly individual or disabled individual) if they intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence, by act or by omission, cause bodily injury, serious bodily injury, or serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury to a child (or elderly individual or disabled individual). Texas Penal Code § 22.04(c)(1) defines a child as a person 14 years of age or younger.

When a person recklessly causes bodily injury to a child (or elderly individual or disabled individual), or the alleged victim suffers bodily injury, serious bodily injury, or serious mental deficiency, impairment, or because of the negligence of a person, the crime is classified as a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Intentionally or knowingly causing bodily injury to a child (or elderly individual or disabled individual) is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

If a person recklessly causes serious bodily injury or serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury to a child (or elderly individual or disabled individual), it is a second-degree felonypunishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Intentionally or knowingly causing serious bodily injury or serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury to a child (or elderly individual or disabled individual) is a first-degree felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Texas Penal Code § 22.04(b) specifically provides that omission that causes an injury to a child (or elderly individual or disabled individual) is conduct constituting an injury to a child (or elderly individual or disabled individual) offense if the person had a legal or statutory duty to act or had assumed care, custody, or control of a child (or elderly individual or disabled individual). Texas Penal Code § 1.07(8) defines bodily as “physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition,” while Texas Penal Code § 1.07(46) defines serious bodily injury as a “bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.”

Texas Penal Code § 22.041 also establishes the crime of abandoning or endangering a child. Under this statute, a person commits an offense if, having custody, care, or control of a child younger than 15 years of age, they intentionally abandon the child in any place under circumstances that expose the child to an unreasonable risk of harm, or intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence, by act or omission, engage in conduct that places a child younger than 15 years of age in imminent danger of death, bodily injury, or physical or mental impairment. Under Texas Penal Code § 22.041(a), the term “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.”

Abandoning or endangering a child is a state jail felony if the offender abandoned the child with intent to return for the child, but is a third-degree felony if they abandoned the child without intent to return. When an offender abandons a 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, the crime is a second-degree felony.

Injury to a Child Penalties in Denton, TX

Texas Family Code § 261.101 establishes that any person who suspects child abuse or neglect must report it immediately. A report can be made to a local or state law enforcement agency or the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). Professionals who are licensed or certified by the state or who work for an agency or facility licensed or certified by the state and have contact with children as a result of their normal duties must report abuse or neglect within 48 hours. Failure to report suspected child abuse or neglect is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000.

Texas Penal Code § 6.03 defines culpable mental states as follows. Under Texas Penal Code § 6.03(a), a person acts intentionally when it is their conscious objective or desire to engage in the conduct or cause the result. Texas Penal Code § 6.03(b) establishes that a person acts knowingly when they are aware of the nature of their conduct or that the circumstances exist and are aware that their conduct is reasonably certain to cause the result. Under Texas Penal Code § 6.03(c), a person acts recklessly when they are aware of but consciously disregard a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur. Texas Penal Code § 6.03(d) states that a person acts with criminal negligence when they should be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur.

In general, people convicted of the crimes listed above could face the following consequences:

  • State Jail Felony — Up to two years in state jail and/or fine of up to $10,000.
  • Second-Degree Felony — Up to 20 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000.
  • First-Degree Felony — Up to 99 years or life in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000.

Denton County Injury to a Child Resources

CDC Childhood Injury Report | Child Safety and Injury Prevention — View a report published in 2008 that examines injuries among 0-19 year olds between 2000 and 2006. On average, 12,175 children 0 to 19 years of age died each year in the United States from an unintentional injury. There is also information about nonfatal injuries, including common causes.

What causes pediatric injury? | NICHD — The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) is one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States Department of Health and Human Services that supports and conducts research aimed at improving the health of children, adults, families, and communities. Learn more about what causes pediatric injury, although the website notes that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the federal government resource for statistics about common causes of pediatric injury. NICHD does not collect national statistics and should not be cited as the source for statistical information.

Accident Statistics – Stanford Children’s Health — Get statistics on child accidents from Stanford University. Airway obstruction injury (suffocation) is the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among infants under age 1, but drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 1 to 4. Each year, about 2,000 children ages 14 and under die as a result of a home injury.

Prevention of Unintentional Childhood Injuries – American Family Physician — Read an article about injuries to children and how we could better prevent them. Learn more about age groups at highest risk of injury and counseling recommendations. Also learn more about evidence ratings.

Find an Injury to a Child Defense Attorney in Denton, TX | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy

Were you arrested for allegedly injuring a child anywhere in Denton County? You will want to make sure that you have qualified legal representation as soon as possible.

The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy regularly defends people throughout Denton County and will be able to work to make sure that you can face the fewest possible penalties despite your arrest. Our firm can review your case and discuss all of your legal options with you when you call (940) 222-8004 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.