In Texas abandoning or endangering a child charge is a felony offense. Texas abandoning or endangering a child is committed when a person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence, leaves a child in a situation where the child’s physical health is in danger, or in circumstances that expose the child to an unreasonable risk of harm.
There can be many different ways that a person could be charged with abandoning or endangering a child. For example. If a parent leaves a young child unattended in a car. If a child is found in a drug house where it is exposed to drugs, guns and other illegal activity. Abandoning or endangering a child can be a state jail felony, third degree felony or second-degree felony depending on the facts of the case.
The criminal case usually has a CPS investigation going on at the same time. if a parent is the defendant their custody of the child could be greatly affected by the arrest. The criminal lawyer has to carefully consider both investigations in order to achieve the best result for the client.
Defenses for this crime under Texas criminal law include:
- Lack of intent: The defendant did not act intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence.
- Lack of knowledge: The defendant was not aware that the child was in danger or that their actions would expose the child to harm.
- Mistake of fact: The defendant held an honest and reasonable belief that the child was not in danger.
- Necessity: The defendant acted in the best interest of the child to protect them from imminent harm.
- Parental privilege: The defendant is the parent of the child, and their actions were reasonable and were taken in good faith to promote the welfare of the child.
If the person is arrested for a Texas abandoning or endangering a child charge, they should hire a criminal attorney as soon as possible. Not only is person’s freedom at stake but their parental custody rights are in danger.