Child Endangerment in Travis County
It's hard to think of many things worse than being charged with child endangerment, especially if you didn't break the law or knowingly do anything wrong. Now, you are trying to get your head around the idea that someone thinks you put your child's life at risk or failed to provide the proper care. Plus, you're living in fear of possibly going to jail and paying a large fine if convicted.
That's not the worst part, though. You could lose your relationship with your child, along with your reputation.
Your world feels like it's closing in on you right now, and you can't believe this is happening. You can't make the charges magically disappear, but you can defend yourself with help from our Travis County endangerment lawyer. Contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation.
Collateral Damage From Endangerment Convictions
A child endangerment or abandonment conviction has some far-reaching consequences. If you are convicted, you might not be eligible to:
- Receive some types of public assistance
- Adopt a child
- Become a foster parent
- Own a firearm
- Keep your job
There are other possible consequences as well, so call our Travis County endangerment lawyer today to discuss your case.
What Is Child Endangerment?
Texas's child endangerment and abandonment laws are in place to protect minors under the age of 15. First, the law states that parents and caregivers cannot expose children to harm through abandonment. Additionally, parents and caregivers are prohibited from participating in any activities that put children in imminent danger of bodily injury, death, or mental or physical impairment. The standards are based on what a reasonable person would do in the same situation. For instance, a reasonable person wouldn't leave an infant on a park bench alone and go home. That's a clear-cut example, but these cases are normally more complex.
Remember that the prosecutor has to prove the case, and you can mount a defense. Contact our Travis County endangerment lawyer to learn more about your defense options.
Penalties For Child Endangerment And Abandonment
Child endangerment and abandonment is classified as a felony, so the penalties are severe if convicted. You will be charged with a state jail felony if law enforcement officers allege that you put your child in danger or abandoned the child with the intention to come back. If convicted, you can be sentenced to up to two years in jail and fined as much as $10,000.
However, if the police allege that you abandoned a child without the intent to return, you'll be charged with a third-degree felony. The penalties include up to 20 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
Right now, it's important to understand that a charge does not mean you'll be convicted, but you do need to mount a defense. Begin with a free consultation with our Travis County endangerment lawyer.
Examples of Endangerment
Numerous actions, or alleged actions, can result in child endangerment charges. Some examples include driving while intoxicated with a child in the car, using drugs around a minor, or supplying an underage person with drugs or alcohol. Leaving kids unattended around firearms, failing to have children buckle up in the car, and letting a known sex offender care for a minor are also examples of child endangerment. Again, these are just some of the many possibilities. Contact our Travis County endangerment lawyer to discuss your case.
Possible Defense Strategies
Because each situation is different, you'll need to discuss the case with a Travis County endangerment lawyer before choosing how to proceed. Once your attorney reviews each piece of evidence and goes over the facts with you, he or she will then decide on a legal strategy. Some common defenses against these allegations include a lack of intent, mistake of fact, and lack of knowledge, although there are other options as well. Speak to an attorney today so you can begin building your defense.