Child Abandonment Charges Defense

Houston Child Abandonment Charges Attorneys :: The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp

Child neglect allegations often surface when an unsuspecting parent or responsible party receives a visit from a Child Protective Services (CPS) official. Texas residents are legally required to report child neglect allegations to CPS or some other law enforcement agency. Even though many allegations of child neglect can be attributed to malicious intent or misunderstanding, charges of child neglect are taken seriously by public officials.

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Allegations of Abandoning Children

Charges of child abandonment or endangerment can devastate the life of a parent, child care professional or educator. Texas law describes child abandonment as leaving a child without providing reasonable or necessary care. The individual responsible for the care of a child is expected to deliver the level of care that any reasonable adult would provide. Any of the following types of conduct could result in abandonment of children charges:

  • Placing a child in imminent danger of bodily injury or death
  • The manufacture or use of methamphetamines in the presence of a child
  • The presence of methamphetamine in the body of a child
  • The use of any penalty group one drug in the presence of a child

Abandoning a Child Penalties

Anyone that has custody or control of a child is susceptible to charges of child abandonment. If it can be shown that a child under the age of 15 was intentionally, knowingly or recklessly abandoned, the defendant can be convicted and sentenced under Texas law.

A child abandonment conviction for purposely abandoning a child with the intention of returning at a later time can result in a state jail felony. A state jail felony is punishable by a jail sentence of six months to two years and a fine of no more than $10,000.

Abandoning or endangering a child without intending to return to care for the child is a third degree felony. The defendant can be sentenced to prison for up to ten years and a fine of no more than $10,000. A second degree felony conviction for exposing a child to potential physical injury, mental impairment or death is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of no more than $10,000.

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