Children require a great deal of attention, care, and consideration to grow up healthy and secure. If you are responsible for a child’s welfare and something bad happens to them, you may be accused of child endangerment. Many of these situations are the result of an accident, not abuse or neglect. Therefore, it is critical to explain what really happened if you want to build a proper defense to a child endangerment claim.

A well-versed Frisco child endangerment lawyer knows the intricacies of the law and can analyze your situation to create a strong argument in your favor. You should not be left to handle these very serious charges on your own. You need competent and confident legal counsel in your corner–which is why you should contact the domestic violence defense attorneys at Barbieri Law Firm, P.C. immediately for help defending your case.

Child Endangerment Laws

According to Texas state law, parents, guardians, and other caretakers must follow certain rules and regulations when caring for a child. Children should be protected from potentially hazardous situations and not be left alone for extended periods of time. A person abandons a child if they leave the child in any location by themselves without providing necessary and reasonable care.

Texas Penal Code § 22.041 outlines the legal elements for abandoning or endangering a child as:

  • Abandoning a child under fifteen in circumstances that could expose the individual to the unreasonable risk of harm
  • Recklessly, intentionally, or knowingly participating in any activity that puts a child under age fifteen in imminent danger of mental or physical impairment, bodily injury, or death

These broad definitions include various forms of conduct that could ultimately lead to child endangerment charges. Because of this, it is imperative for the accused to have a knowledgeable attorney in their corner.

Presumption of Imminent Danger

Many scenarios can constitute imminent danger under the Texas state statute. A child is presumed to be in imminent danger of impairment, injury, or death if:

  • The child was in proximity or had easy access to methamphetamine and the child had meth in their system
  • There is possessed or manufactured methamphetamine near the presence of a child
  • A person inhaled, injected, or introduced a controlled substance classified in Penalty Group One while in the presence of or caring for the child

These presumptions create a difficult challenge to overcome, but a skilled child endangerment lawyer in Frisco can make a significant difference in the outcome of the case.

Penalties for Child Endangerment in Frisco

The penalties for child endangerment depend greatly on the facts of the individual case. If a court finds that a person abandoned a child without any reasonable means—but the person did have an intent to return—the offense is a state jail felony. It is also considered a state jail felony when a child is put at risk knowingly, intentionally, or with criminal negligence. This kind of felony could result in up to two years in state jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

If the defendant had no intent to return for the abandoned child, the crime is a third degree felony. This charge has a sentence of up to twenty years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Schedule a Consultation with a Frisco Child Endangerment Attorney

Being charged with a child endangerment crime is frightening—but it does not mean you are guilty. The prosecution is obligated to prove the child endangerment case beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a very high standard. A well-practiced criminal defense attorney could fight to reduce or even eliminate the potential consequences of a conviction.

Allow a Frisco child endangerment lawyer to review the circumstances of your case and craft a robust defense strategy. Contact the dedicated attorneys at Barbieri Law Firm, P.C. today to schedule a consultation.

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