What Does The Charge Of Injury To A Child Mean?

A woman in the Denton area was recently accused of striking her son more than five times on the head before law enforcement arrested the woman and charged her with injury to a child. After law enforcement arrived at the home, the child’s father reported that he had never seen the mother so angry. The father also told law enforcement that the child had picked up the woman’s tablet to play with in the bathroom but was not supposed to do so, which led to the argument. Subsequently, the woman was taken to the Denton City Jail in lieu of a $10,000 bail. Child Protective Services were also called to the scene of the incident to investigate the crime.

If you have been charged with injury to a child in Denton or the surrounding area, it is a wise idea to speak with a knowledgeable attorney who understands how these charges arise and who can help create a strong defense. It often also helps to understand some of the various details about the law.

Elements Required to Establish a Charge of Injury to a Child

Texas Penal Code Section 22.04 defines a charge of “injury to a child” as occurring if a person knowingly commits the offense of injury to a child. It is important to understand that for the purpose of this law, a child includes anyone who is 14 years old or younger.

To satisfy a charge of injury to a child, criminal intent also must be proven. In the state of Texas, injury to a child is classified as a first degree felony if the offense is committed intentionally or knowingly and is punishable by a prison term of up to 99 years. If the offense is performed in a reckless manner, a person faces a second degree felony, which can result in up to 20 years in prison. If the offense is not serious and was committed either intentionally or knowingly, a person faces a third degree felony that can be punished with up to 10 years in prison.

Disciplining a Child versus Injury to a Child

If a person has disciplined a child, then he or she has not committed the offense of injury to a child. While there is currently a social divide on whether it is appropriate to punish one’s children, law in the state of Texas still recognizes the right to discipline children, provided that the punishment is reasonable. There are situations, however, in which parents end up facing charges of injury to a child when only discipline has occurred.

Obtain the Services of a Seasoned Criminal Defense Attorney

When any type of physical altercation occurs, one of the best steps to take is to immediately obtain the assistance of a seasoned attorney. Our firm understands the numerous obstacles that can arise in defending against these charges. Contact Wheeler Law Office today to create a strong legal strategy to respond to these charges.

(image courtesy of Daiga Ellaby)