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Injury to an Elderly or Disabled Person

In most cases, a simple assault crime is a misdemeanor. Assault becomes a felony, however, if the alleged victim is a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual.

When you are accused of this kind of crime, you need to understand that a prosecutor is likely to be seeking a conviction and maximum punishments. In such cases, the alleged victim’s status will usually be used to argue that they were particularly defenseless and the alleged offender is deserving of an unforgiving sentence.

Plano Injury to an Elderly or Disabled Person Attorney

If you or your loved one were arrested for allegedly causing injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled person in Plano, you should try not to say anything to authorities until you have legal representation. Make sure you contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy as soon as possible.

Our firm represents both residents of and visitors to Collin County. We can discuss all of your legal options with you as soon as you call (469) 304-3422 or contact us online to receive a free consultation.

Injury to an Elderly or Disabled Person Charges in Plano

Texas Penal Code § 22.04(a) establishes that a person commits injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual under when they cause a serious bodily injury, serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury, or bodily injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual. Under Texas Penal Code § 22.04(c)(1), a child is defined as a person 14 years of age or younger and an elderly individual is defined under Texas Penal Code § 22.04(c)(2) as a person 65 years of age or older.

Under Texas Penal Code § 22.04(c)(3)(B), a disabled individual is defined as a person "who otherwise by reason of age or physical or mental disease, defect, or injury is substantially unable to protect the person's self from harm or to provide food, shelter, or medical care for the person's self." A disabled individual is defined under Texas Penal Code § 22.04(c)(3)(A) as a person with one or more of the following:

  • Intellectual Disability, Texas Health and Safety Code § 591.003 — Significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning that is concurrent with deficits in adaptive behavior and originates during the developmental period.
  • Mental Illness, Texas Health and Safety Code § 571.003 — An illness, disease, or condition, other than epilepsy, dementia, substance abuse, or intellectual disability, that substantially impairs a person's thought, perception of reality, emotional process, or judgment, or grossly impairs behavior as demonstrated by recent disturbed behavior.
  • Severe Emotional Disturbance, Texas Family Code § 261.001 — A mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder of sufficient duration to result in functional impairment that substantially interferes with or limits a person's role or ability to function in family, school, or community activities.
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder, Texas Insurance Code § 1355.001 — A neurobiological disorder that includes autism, Asperger's syndrome, or Pervasive Developmental Disorder.
  • Developmental Disability, Texas Human Resources Code § 112.042 — A severe, chronic disability that is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or to a combination of a mental and physical impairment; is manifested before a person reaches the age of 22; is likely to continue indefinitely; results in substantial functional limitations in three or more major life activities, including self-care, receptive and expressive language, learning, mobility, self-direction, capacity for independent living, and economic sufficiency; and reflects the person's needs for a combination and sequence of special interdisciplinary or generic care, treatment, or other lifelong or extended services that are individually planned and coordinated.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury, Texas Health and Safety Code § 92.001 — An acquired injury to the brain, including brain injuries caused by anoxia due to near drowning.  The term does not include brain dysfunction caused by congenital or degenerative disorders or birth trauma.

Under Texas Penal Code § 1.07(8), bodily injury is defined as "physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition." Texas Penal Code § 1.07(46) defines a serious bodily injury as "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."

Under Texas Penal Code § 22.04(a-1), an owner, operator, or employee of a group home, nursing facility, assisted living facility, intermediate care facility for persons with mental retardation, or other institutional care facility commits injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual if they cause a serious bodily injury, serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury, or bodily injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual. Texas Penal Code § 22.04(b) further establishes that an omission causing a serious bodily injury, serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury, or bodily injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual is conduct constituting the crime of injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual if the alleged offender had a legal or statutory duty to act or had assumed care, custody, or control of a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual.

Injury to an Elderly or Disabled Person Penalties in Texas

One major factor in the severity of criminal charges for injury to a child, elderly person, or disabled person cases is the culpable mental state of the alleged offender. Under Texas Penal Code § 6.03, culpable mental states are classified according to the following relative degrees, from highest to lowest:

An individual acts intentionally, or with intent, with respect to the nature of their conduct or to a result of their conduct when it is their conscious objective or desire to engage in the conduct or cause the result.

An individual acts knowingly, or with knowledge, with respect to the nature of their conduct or to circumstances surrounding their conduct when they are aware of the nature of their conduct or that the circumstances exist. A person acts knowingly, or with knowledge, with respect to a result of their conduct when they are aware that their conduct is reasonably certain to cause the result.

An individual acts recklessly, or is reckless, with respect to circumstances surrounding their conduct or the result of their conduct when they are aware of but consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that its disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from the actor's standpoint.

An individual acts with criminal negligence, or is criminally negligent, with respect to circumstances surrounding their conduct or the result of their conduct when they ought to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from the actor's standpoint.

It is a state jail felony if an alleged offender recklessly causes bodily injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual or causes serious bodily injury, serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury, or causes bodily injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual as the result of criminal negligence. A conviction is punishable by up to two years in state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

It is a third-degree felony if an an alleged offender intentionally or knowingly causes bodily injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual, injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual. A conviction is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

It is a second-degree felony if an alleged offender recklessly causes serious bodily injury or serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual, or if the alleged victim was a disabled individual residing in a state supported living center (as defined by Health and Safety Code § 555.001) or in a facility licensed under Chapter 252 of the Health and Safety Code, and the alleged offender is an employee of the center or facility whose employment involved providing direct care for the alleged victim, injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual. A conviction is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Injury to an Elderly or Disabled Person Defenses in Collin County

Texas Penal Code § 22.04(a)(1), Texas Penal Code § 22.04(a)(2), and Texas Penal Code § 22.04(a)(3) all provide that it is an affirmative defense for injury to a disabled individual that the alleged offender did not know and could not reasonably have known that the alleged victim was a disabled individual at the time of the offense. Texas Penal Code § 22.04(k) also establishes that it is a defense to prosecution that the alleged act or omission consisted of reasonable medical care occurring under the direction of or by a licensed physician, or emergency medical care administered in good faith and with reasonable care by a person not licensed in the healing arts.

Under Texas Penal Code § 22.04(i), it is an affirmative defense under Texas Penal Code § 22.04(b)(2) that before the alleged offense the alleged offender notified in person the child, elderly individual, or disabled individual that they would no longer provide any of the care described by Texas Penal Code § 22.04(d) and notified in writing the parents or person other than himself acting in loco parentis to the child, elderly individual, or disabled individual that they would no longer provide any of the care described by Texas Penal Code § 22.04(d) or notified in writing the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services that they would no longer provide any of the care set forth in Texas Penal Code § 22.04(d).

Under Texas Penal Code § 22.04(l), it is an affirmative defense that the alleged act or omission was based on treatment in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized religious method of healing with a generally accepted record of efficacy for a person charged with an act of omission causing serious bodily injury; serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury; or bodily injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual that there is no evidence that, on the date prior to the alleged offense, the alleged offender was aware of an incident of injury to the child, elderly individual, or disabled individual and failed to report the incident; and the person was a victim of family violence committed by a person who is also charged with an offense against the child, elderly individual, or disabled individual; did not cause a serious bodily injury; serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury; or bodily injury; and did not reasonably believe at the time of the omission that an effort to prevent the person also charged with an offense against the child, elderly individual, or disabled individual from committing the offense would have an effect.

The same statute also provides that it is an affirmative defense that the alleged offender was not more than three years older than the alleged victim at the time of the offense, and the alleged victim was a nondisabled or disabled child at the time of the offense.

Injury to an Elderly or Disabled Person Resources in Collin County

Children's Advocacy Center of Collin County — The primary goal of Children's Advocacy Center of Collin County is to provide comprehensive, accessible, free services for 100 percent of children and families in Collin County impacted by or at risk of child abuse or neglect. The Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) of Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County includes such partners as the Allen Police Department, Children’s Medical Center Plano, Collin County Sheriff’s Office, Collin County District Attorney’s Office, Dallas Police Department, Frisco Police Department, McKinney Police Department, Plano Police Department, Richardson Police Department, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services- Child Protective Services, Adult Protective Services, and Child Care Licensing, and Wylie Police Department. Children's Advocacy Center of Collin County is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Children's Advocacy Center of Collin County
2205 Los Rios Blvd.
Plano, TX 75074
(972) 633-6600

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) — Adult Protective Services responsibilities include investigating reports of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of adults who are elderly or have disabilities. Child Protective Services responsibilities include providing services to children and families in their own homes. Collin County is in DFPS Region 3, which has a headquarters in Arlington:

Region 3 Headquarters
1200 E. Copeland Road
Arlington, TX 76011
(817) 792-440

Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy | Plano Injury to an Elderly or Disabled Person Lawyer

Were you or your loved one arrested for alleged injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual in Plano or another community in Collin County? It will be critical that you quickly retain legal counsel.

Do not wait to contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy. Call (469) 304-3422 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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Allen

1333 W McDermott Dr #150,
Allen, TX 75013
Phone:
(469) 301-1185

Plano

5055 W Park Blvd, #400
Plano, TX 75093
Phone:
(888) 628-8274

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5900 S Lake Forest Dr #300,
Allen, TX 75013
Phone:
(972) 805-8855

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5700 Granite Pkwy #200,
Plano, TX 75024
Phone:
(469) 304-3422

Contact Us :  (469) 304-3422 Fax: (972) 239-0398
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