Child Abandonment or Endangerment in Texas

At Barbieri Law Firm, P.C., we recognize the complexities of child endangerment charges. These cases are sensitive due to the involvement of minors, and the potential legal consequences can be severe. Our team is committed to providing a comprehensive legal approach, ensuring that our clients fully understand the implications of such charges and the defenses available to them.

What Constitutes Child Abandonment or Endangerment?

Child endangerment involves any conduct that places a child under the age of 15 in imminent danger of bodily injury, physical or mental impairment, or death or abandoning a child under circumstances that expose the child to unreasonable risk of harm. This offense is taken very seriously in Texas and can encompass a range of activities that might not immediately seem like endangerment to the layperson. The definition is broad to ensure that all potential harms to a child are adequately covered under the law. This may include direct acts of endangerment and instances where a guardian or parent fails to act, thereby placing the child at risk.

Examples of Child Endangerment:

  • Leaving a Child in a Vehicle: Texas law prohibits leaving a child younger than seven years old in a vehicle for more than five minutes if they are not accompanied by someone at least 14 years old.
  • Inadequate Supervision: Failure to provide proper supervision that can expose a child to hazardous situations, such as access to pools, dangerous tools, or firearms.
  • Exposing Children to Illegal Activities: Allowing children to be present during the commission of crimes, particularly drug-related offenses, can result in child endangerment charges.
  • Access or Exposure to Illegal Drugs: The use or manufacture of methamphetamine in the presence of a child or the use, possession, or manufacture of methamphetamine and the child’s blood or urine indicates the presence of the drug in the child’s body.

Legal Penalties for Child Abandonment or Endangerment in Texas

The penalties for child endangerment can vary significantly based on the severity of the offense and the specific circumstances involved.

Potential Consequences Include:

  • State Jail Felony: Generally, child endangerment that results in a risk of bodily injury or abandonment where the accused intended to return for the child can be charged as a state jail felony, carrying penalties of 180 days to two years in state jail.
  • Third-Degree Felony: If the endangerment leads to a substantial risk of severe bodily injury or death, the charge can escalate to a third-degree felony, punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison. For abandonment, if the accused did not intend to return, the charge is elevated to a third-degree felony.
  • SecondDegree Felony: However, if the accused also abandoned the child in a manner that a reasonable person would believe placed the child in imminent danger of death, injury, or impairment, the abandonment charge is considered a second-degree felony and punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison.

Defense Strategies for Child Abandonment or Endangerment

Navigating child abandonment or endangerment charges requires a nuanced approach. Each case is unique, and specific details can significantly impact the defense strategy.

Effective Defense Approaches:

  • Questioning the Level of Supervision: Arguing that the child was adequately supervised or that the alleged endangerment was an isolated incident not indicative of usual behavior.
  • Disputing Harm or Risk: Demonstrating that the actions in question did not pose a real risk of harm to the child.
  • Demonstrating Lack of Knowledge: Showing that the defendant was reasonably unaware of the potential for harm or that the circumstances were beyond their control.

Why Choose Barbieri Law Firm, P.C.?

At Barbieri Law Firm, P.C., we are deeply familiar with the Texas legal system and have extensive experience handling child abandonment or endangerment cases. We protect our client’s rights and strive for the most favorable outcomes.

  • Personalized Legal Representation: We understand that every case is unique and provide tailored legal strategies.
  • Comprehensive Case Evaluation: Our team thoroughly assesses all aspects of the case to identify the best approach to defense.
  • Commitment to Clients: We prioritize communication and support our clients through every step of the legal process.

Contact Us for Expert Legal Assistance

If you or someone you know is facing allegations of child endangerment, it is crucial to seek competent legal representation immediately. The potential consequences of a conviction are too significant to handle without experienced legal help.

Contact Barbieri Law Firm, P.C. today at 972-424-1902 or online to schedule a consultation. Our skilled legal team is prepared to defend your rights and guide you through the complexities of your case. Remember, when it comes to legal issues involving children, the stakes are always high, and having the right attorney can make all the difference.