Texas law has specific crimes for causing injury to a child, which is defined as someone age 14 or under according to Texas Penal Code, Section 22.04. The injury can be either bodily injury, serious bodily injury, or causing a serious mental impairment or injury. The law in this area is complicated, and the consequences can be severe, so anyone who is charged with causing injury to a child in Texas should consult with an experienced lawyer like criminal defense attorney John Helms as soon as possible.
The crime of causing injury to a child can come up in many different situations. The most obvious is when someone intentionally hits or kicks a
The seriousness of the crime generally depends on the intent of the accused and how badly the child was injured.
If a person, by action, intentionally or knowingly causes serious bodily injury or serious mental injury to a child, the crime is a first-degree felony. If a person, by action, recklessly causes serious bodily or serious mental injury to a child, the crime is a second-degree felony.
If a person causes serious bodily injury, serious mental injury, or bodily injury to a child by acting with criminal negligence, the crime is a state jail felony.
If a person is in charge of caring for a child, and intentionally or knowingly fails to take action, and serious bodily injury or serious mental injury results, it is a first-degree felony. If the same type of person recklessly fails to take action and serious bodily injury or serious mental injury occurs, it is a second-degree felony.
If only bodily injury occurs, the crime is a third-degree felony if the accused acted intentionally or knowingly, and a state jail felony if the accused acted recklessly. The same levels apply if the person was charged with the care of the child and failed to act.
Situations in which a person is in charge of the care of a child do not depend on family relationships. A parent, of course, is in charge of the care of a child, but others can be as well. For example, a babysitter may have temporary care of a child.
Whether someone acted intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence depends on the facts of the case. These types of intent are well-known to experienced lawyers, but they can be difficult to understand for people not trained in the law. Part of a defense for an accused person may be that they did not act with the level of intent that the State claims. Therefore, it is critical to review the facts of each individual case with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Dallas, TX who understands both the law of causing injury to a child and these concepts of intent.
Attorney John Helms – Dallas Criminal Defense
T: (214) 666-8010