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Criminal charges of child endangerment not only can lead to arrest and imprisonment but also can permanently taint you with a reputation for bad parenting. In Texas, child endangerment may be prosecuted along with the related crime of child abandonment. If you are under investigation or are facing such charges, you are entitled to and should immediately seek defense counsel. Kevin L. Collins, P.C. will effectively represent you, working to preserve your freedom, reputation and family relationships.
In Texas, child endangerment means placing a child younger than 15 years old in imminent danger of death, bodily injury or physical or mental impairment. The crime occurs whether the act or failure to act is intentional, reckless or in conscious disregard of a substantial or unjustifiable risk. Child endangerment is presumed if the defendant manufactures, possesses or uses methamphetamines in the child’s presence, causes the child to ingest methamphetamines or illegally uses a controlled substance.
Conviction for child endangerment is punishable by 180 days to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. If you are accused of endangerment, your child might be removed from your home. I understand what is at stake if you are accused of this crime and will provide you with a zealous criminal defense as well as representation in any Child Protective Services investigation.
A related but separate criminal offense is child abandonment, which occurs when someone having custody, care or control of a child younger than 15 years old leaves the child without reasonable and necessary care. If the defendant doesn’t intend to return for the child, the potential punishment is two to 10 years in prison, and the maximum term increases to 20 years if the abandonment also amounts to child endangerment. You also may lose your parental rights if your children are the alleged victims. We will contest all elements of the crime, and especially those that put your freedom most in jeopardy.
Child abuse and neglect are civil offenses under the Texas Family Code that can trigger investigation and remediation by Child Protective Services. However, it is a crime for anyone with knowledge of child abuse or neglect to fail to report it to law enforcement authorities. A failure to report may be punishable by a year in state jail, up to $4,000 in fines or both.
Child abuse includes causing, permitting or failing to prevent:
Neglect is the failure of a parent or guardian to provide safe and adequate food, clothing, shelter, protection, medical care and supervision to a child.
As your counsel, I will vigorously defend you against a failure-to-report charge, such as by raising arguments that you had an insufficient basis for concluding that neglect or abuse had occurred.
If you are accused of child endangerment, child abandonment or failure to report child abuse or neglect, reach out to Kevin L. Collins, P.C. in San Antonio, Texas, either by contacting me online or by calling me at 210-598-8629.