Assisting Residents of Austin, Texas with Defending Against Criminal Child Endangerment Charges
Child endangerment can occur in a variety of different contexts and under many different circumstances. One of the most common factual scenarios that leads to a Texas child endangerment charge involves leaving a child in a motor vehicle in the spring or summer when the weather is hot. Even in the event this occurs because of an absentminded mistake, a state prosecutor can still charge you with child endangerment.
Child endangerment is considered a violent crime in the State of Texas, and consequently, the penalties upon conviction are extremely stiff. If you or a person you love has been arrested and/or charged with child endangerment, the experienced Austin child endangerment lawyers at Granger and Mueller PC are ready to assist.
Our legal team can investigate the circumstances behind your charge and may be able to advance a strong legal defense on your behalf in court. Your lawyer may also be in a position to arrange a favorable plea deal for you and represent your legal interests at a sentencing hearing before a judge.
What is Child Endangerment in Texas?
The Texas Penal Code sets forth the legal elements that a state prosecutor must prove (beyond a reasonable doubt) in order for you to sustain a criminal conviction for child endangerment or abandonment. Those legal elements include the following:
- The accused has care, custody, or control over the minor child
- The child is less than 15 years of age
- The accused intentionally and knowingly abandons the minor child
- The circumstances of the abandonment must present the child with a risk of unreasonable harm
A person may also be arrested for child endangerment or abandonment if he or she knowingly, intentionally, recklessly, or negligently takes part in certain conduct that exposes a child who is under 15 years of age to the risk of imminent injury, mental impairment, physical impairment, or death.
Potential Penalties for a Child Endangerment Conviction in Austin
A child endangerment conviction in Austin can lead to serious criminal penalties. For example, if the accused intentionally abandons a child – but the accused had planned to return – the accused can be charged with a State Jail Felony. Upon conviction, the accused can receive a minimum of 180 days of incarceration (with a maximum of two years), along with a maximum $5,000 monetary fine.
If you are charged with intentionally abandoning a child, but you did not plan on coming back for the child, you can be charged with a third-degree felony offense. Upon conviction, you may receive a minimum of two years of incarceration (with a maximum of ten years), along with a maximum $10,000 monetary fine.
If you are charged with intentionally abandoning a child under circumstances that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the child was in imminent danger of suffering a bodily injury, mental impairment, physical impairment, or death, you can be charged with a second-degree felony. Upon conviction, you may receive a minimum of two years of incarceration (with a maximum of 20 years), along with a $10,000 monetary fine.
Contact a Knowledgeable Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
The knowledgeable legal team at Granger and Mueller PC will ensure that all of your legal rights remain protected and will do everything possible to zealously defend you against a criminal child endangerment charge.
To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with an experienced Austin criminal defense attorney, please call us at (512) 474-9999 or contact us online today to learn more.