Austin Injury to a Child Attorney - Child Abuse Lawyer Austin By Jason Trumpler, P.C. on February 02, 2020

Injury to a Child, Elderly or Disabled Person in Austin, Texas

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While not as common as some other assault charges, Injury to a Child, Elderly or Disabled Individual is still not one to be taken lightly. These charges stem from a variety of sources like the severe discipline of a child that causes bodily harm or negligence in a group home or residential care facility. In Texas, it is legal to discipline a child, but when that punishment goes too far, you may be facing these charges. The State can also bring these charges as the result of negligent conduct that could potentially cause injury, such as Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). Charges can also stem from an accident inside the home that law enforcement believes was intentional, reckless, or negligent conduct on the part of the accused that resulted in injury rather than an accident.

On occasion, the State will file Injury to a Child charges along with other criminal conduct, like Abandoning or Endangering Child, DWI, or assault.

If the State has charged you or someone you know with Injury to a Child, Elderly or Disabled Individual, it is essential to have a trusted attorney. Austin Criminal Defense Attorney Jason Trumpler will help you through your case and its delicate proceedings.

Below, Austin Attorney Jason Trumpler discusses the charge of Injury to a Child, Elderly or Disabled Individual. He covers what to do if the State charges with this offense. He also discusses the ranges of punishment and how to fight false accusations.

What Does Injury to a Child, Elderly, or Disabled Individual Entail?

First, it is essential to realize that not all injuries to a child, elderly, or disabled individual in your care should result in criminal charges. The primary key is that you have to have intentionally and knowingly inflicted harm to an individual or recklessly or negligently caused injury. Recklessly and negligently are terms of art legally defined in the Texas Penal Code. The State must prove one of those three mental states. Often, the State will charge Injury to a Child, Elderly, or Disabled Individual when in truth, it was just an accident.

Second, according to the Texas Penal Code, Injury includes:

  1. Serious bodily injury;
  2. Serious mental deficiency;
  3. Impairment, or injury; or,
  4. Bodily injury.

Injury is pretty easy to prove. Bodily injury in Texas only requires a complaint of pain by the victim.

What are the potential punishments?

As mentioned above, how the State charges the case depends on the intent and degree of injury. The State would charge the case as a State Jail Felony if the defendant acted with criminal negligence. It can be charged as a First Degree Felony if a defendant acted intentionally and knowingly, and the conduct resulted in serious bodily injury or serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury. If the defendant acted recklessly and the behavior caused serious bodily injury or serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury, the State charges it as a 2nd Degree Felony. If the defendant acted intentionally and knowingly, and the conduct resulted in bodily injury, the State would charge the case as a 3rd Degree Felony.

What role does the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services play?

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) is an organization that can often take a role in investigating these allegations. While they do not prosecute criminally, they will present their findings to the court or police. Their protective services include both child and adult, through both individual families to state-run organizations like foster care or nursing homes.

When you are facing charges, whether proven guilty or not, you will most likely still be observed by or have some involvement with DFPS. Their observation can include home visits, wellness checks, family education classes, and intervention programs.

If the State has accused you of Injury to a Child, Elderly, or Disabled Individual, you must contact a skilled criminal defense attorney to represent you. Attorney Jason Trumpler is highly qualified and available to take on your case and procure the best possible outcome. He has frequently negotiated reduced charges and dismissals when appropriate on this very charge. When necessary, he will take your case to trial in front of a jury. Mr. Trumpler has over 100 jury trials. While he cannot guarantee the outcome of any case, he can ensure that he will handle your case honestly. Moreover, he can promise that the delicate circumstances surrounding your situation will be respected and that his office will be available to you at all times. If you or someone you know is facing this type of charge, please do not hesitate to call us immediately at 512-457-5200 to discuss your case.

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