There’s an unbearable truth that the state of Texas has to face – child abuse is rampant. From 2012 to 2016, Texas had reported more cases of child fatalities than any other state in the U.S.
Unfortunately, even mere allegations of child abuse can be life-altering. Not only do you have to come face to face with expensive fines, but also, the negative social stigma from the charges can seem unbearable. This is why if you or someone you know is charged with child abuse, it’s important to understand the laws and penalties that come along with the crime.
It’s also best to reach out to one of our experienced Brownsville child abuse attorneys at The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. , as soon as possible. We will work diligently to achieve the best outcome possible for your case.
Child Abuse Attorneys in Cameron County, Texas
Allegations of child abuse can result in serious criminal charges in Texas. You could face extensive jail time and acquire hefty fines. Call one of our criminal defense lawyers today at 956-504-2211 if you have been accused of, have a warrant, or are under investigation for child abuse.
We are experienced in handling a variety of domestic violence cases and will make every effort to help you achieve the best possible outcome. Child abuse attorney Jonathan Gracia and his team represent clients in Cameron County, Hidalgo County, Willacy County and all throughout Texas.
Child abuse is when a parent or caregiver causes injury, death, and/or emotional or physical harm to their child. There are many forms of abuse a child can face including neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and more.
- Neglect – This occurs when a parent does not provide the supervision, care and affection needed for a child’s health and well-being. Examples of physical neglect include leaving the child in another’s custody for days or weeks, failing to provide food, drinks, clothes and personal hygiene.
- Physical abuse – This type of abuse includes burning, choking, throwing, shoving, kicking or any other action that injures a child. Physical abuse can result in bruises, cuts, scratches, brain damage, broken bones, psychological harm, and even death.
- Sexual abuse – Sexual abuse is when a parent utilizes a child for sexual purposes or involves him/her in sexual acts. Signs of sexual abuse in the caregiver often include jealousy, feeling possessive, and relying on the child for emotional support.
Penalties and punishments for child abuse offense in Texas can range in severity depending on the child’s injury. Individuals found guilty can be charged anywhere from state jail felony to first-degree felony. Penalties include:
State jail felony: This charge applies when an individual recklessly causes bodily injury to a child. A person may also acquire a state jail felony offense if they commit child abuse by criminal negligence or cause serious bodily injury by omission. Penalties include spending up to 2 years in state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Third-degree felony: If a personal intentionally causes bodily injury to a child, they’ll be charged at this degree. They may face up to 10 years in prison and receive a fine of up to $10,000.
Second-degree felony: If an individual inflicts bodily injury or mental impairment, they could face up to 20 years of imprisonment and/or a fine of up $10,000.
First-degree felony: If the omission is done intentionally and results in serious bodily injury or impairment, penalties include serving up to 99 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Current law requires that professionals such as nurses, doctors, child daycare workers and teachers report child abuse within 48 hours. A professional may not delegate to or rely on another person to make the report. According to the Texas Penal Code, “professional” is defined as individual who is an employee of a facility licensed by the state and has direct contact with children.
Under Texas Family Code Sec. 261.109, failure to report child abuse in Texas comes with serious consequences. Mandated reporters who fail to notify the appropriate authorities could face a Class A misdemeanor. If charged with a Class B misdemeanor, an individual may face up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000.
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) – The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) protects children and vulnerable adults from abuse, neglect and exploitation through investigations, services and prevention programs. Visit the website to learn more about the services DPFS offers, read recent news and more.
Cameron County Children’s Advocacy Centers Inc. – The CCCAC offers free therapy services to children suffering abuse and their nonoffending family members. Its mission is to “serve and advocate for child victims of abuse through prevention, intervention, and treatment.”
Attorney for Child Abuse & Neglect in Brownsville, Texas
As dedicated Brownsville child abuse defense lawyers, we understand that in addition to serious criminal penalties, child abuse allegations can follow you throughout life. It could endanger your future career or even custody of your children. For these reasons, it’s in your best interest to secure legal representation as soon as possible.
Our criminal defense attorneys at The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. are determined to help you achieve the most favorable outcome. We represent clients in Brownsville, Texas and surrounding cities such as Houston, Matamoros, and Reynosa. Call 956-504-2211 today to receive a free initial consultation and discuss all of your legal options.