In Collin County, damaging a child’s physical or mental health can result in criminal charges. The Texas Child Protective Services and Department of Family and Protective Services have strict guidelines in place to protect the youth of Texas, and they will not hesitate to intervene if they have reason to believe that a child is being abused, neglected, or endangered by their parents or guardians.
Individuals who knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly leave their children abandoned and in imminent danger of death or bodily injury can face serious charges in a court of law. This is considered to be endangering a child, and if you are facing this type of criminal charge, you must brace yourself for the legal journey ahead of you. The best way to do this is to hire a criminal defense lawyer.
Collin County Child Endangerment Lawyer
Child endangerment is no laughing matter, and if you have been accused or investigated as a result of this crime, it is important to remain calm. So many parents make the mistake of panicking and speaking out of fear, but this will only make your matter worse. Being presented with these charges can be extremely intimidating and time-consuming, but you can give yourself a shot at overcoming your charges by hiring a Plano defense lawyer.
Have you been arrested or accused of abandoning or endangering a child in Collin County, Texas? If so, you will most definitely need a criminal defense attorney on your side before your legal situation gets too far out of hand. Serving Collin, Denton, Parker, Tarrant, and many other counties in Texas, The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy can assist you with your struggles. For more information on how we can be there for you during your legal trouble, contact our team at 469-304-3422 to receive a free estimate.
Definition of Endangering a Child
Texas Penal Code § 22.041(a) outlines the definition of the crime of endangering a child. According to this statute, endangering a child takes place whenever an adult leaves a child in any place without first providing reasonable and necessary care. This statute states that if a person who has custody, care, or control of a child younger than 15 years old leaves them abandoned in any place that exposes them to an unreasonable risk of harm, the adult can face criminal charges.
Penalties for Endangering a Child
Collin County prosecutors take child-related crimes extremely seriously. Whether it’s child abuse, domestic violence, sex crimes, or any other type of injustice directed towards the youth of our community, prosecuting attorneys and investigators will do what it takes to make an example out of the defendant and put them behind bars for a long time, even if they do not have sufficient evidence to do so.
Child endangerment penalties can greatly vary. For starters, state jail felony child endangerment can cause you to spend up to 2 years behind bars and pay up to $10,000 in court-mandated fines. However, endangering a child can be upgraded to a third-degree felony, which will lead to 10 years of imprisonment in addition to the aforementioned fine. If the child endangerment crime is classified as a second-degree felony, the individual can expect to spend up to 20 years in prison and pay a fine of up to $10,000.
A big factor that affects the classification of this crime is whether or not the parent or guardian had the intent to return to the child. If the prosecution is able to prove that you had no intention of returning to the abandoned and neglected child in question, you will experience much harsher penalties for the actions. This is another reason why hiring a defense attorney is so important for Plano child abuse charges. Defense lawyers can work with you to create a strong defense that can prove your intentions and clearly show the judge and jury you had every intention of making it back to your child.
Potential Defenses for Endangering a Child Charges
Endangering a child is an extremely serious offense, but there are possible defenses that can be used. In many cases, parents and guardians are accused of abandoning or neglecting their children for simply leaving them unsupervised for a small amount of time. Children are prone to move quickly and engage in unsafe behavior at a moment’s notice. A parent may be able to fight this crime if their attorney can prove that a child was not abandoned, and the parents or guardians were in their general proximity and able to exercise proper supervision if needed.
According to section 22.041 of the Texas Penal Code, parents and guardians can also potentially fight their charges if their child’s endangerment case involves athletics. This statute states that if a child is injured during an organized athletic event that has employed proper safety equipment and procedures, the circumstance does not warrant a charge of endangering a child. However, keep in mind that this law does not apply to parents and guardians with children who are 60 days of age or younger, according to Texas Family Code § 262.302.
Collin County Endangering a Child Resources
Child Protective Services: Dallas-Fort Worth – This link takes you to the official webpage of the Dallas-Fort Worth division of Child Protective Services. This program acts as a protection agency that helps children remain safe and protected during allegations or investigations of abuse. Individuals who believe that children may be experiencing neglect and abuse can contact this program and let an official know more details of the case.
Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County – This link takes you to the official website of the Children’s Advocacy Center in Collin County, an organization that is committed to providing safety, healing, and justice for our community’s victimized children. Their program features a combination of therapists, law enforcement professionals, CPS representatives, and volunteers who all work together to intervene when a children’s wellbeing is at risk. Located in Plano, Texas, their goal is to offer free and comprehensive services to every single family affected by child abuse.
Collin County Council on Family Violence: Member Organizations – This webpage takes you to the official website of the Collin County Council on Family Violence. This organization’s mission is to eliminate family violence by contributing to sustainable movement and activism that works towards eliminating this negative aspect that so many families in our communities deal with. In this link, you can take a look at the numerous organizations that work with them, such as churches, police departments, shelters, and medical centers.
Find a Child Endangerment Attorney Plano TX | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
Endangering a child is a serious crime that will bring about serious consequences. Anyone who has been arrested or charged with this crime should speak to a defense attorney as soon as possible to ensure they are doing whatever it takes to defend their rights and freedom. Failure to consult with a defense lawyer early on in your criminal case can result in numerous adverse effects, and it will only give the prosecuting attorneys more time and opportunities to gather evidence that can put you behind bars for years to come.
There are many falsely accused individuals who go through family violence criminal cases, and our legal team understands that not every charge has to result in a conviction. Serving Plano, McKinney, Dallas, Denton, and many other cities located within and around Collin County, The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy are committed to helping Texans fight their criminal charges. We have years of experience working with violent crime cases, and our legal team has a proven reputation for providing our clients with favorable outcomes when their cases go to trial. For more information on how we can positively impact your case, contact us today at (469) 304-3422.