Pursuant to Penal Code 22.041, endangering a child in Texas occurs when a person places a child under the age of 15 in danger of death, bodily injury, or physical or mental impairment. Child endangerment in Texas can be by act or omission. The act or omission can be done intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently.
Situations where Child Endangerment is Presumed
- Manufacturing a methamphetamine in the presence of a child.
- Making methamphetamine accessible to a child and the child has methamphetamine in their system.
- Using a Penalty Group One substance around a child.
Punishment for Child Endangerment in Texas
Child endangerment in Texas is a State Jail Felony. The range of punishment is 180 days to 2 years, and up to a $10,000 fine.
Statutory Defense for Child Endangerment
It is a defense to child endangerment that the act or omission was to allow the child to participate in an athletic event or practice with appropriate safety equipment.
What to expect if the police suspect you endangered a child
You will most likely have an officer or detective reach out to you to discuss what happened. You should hire an attorney before considering talking to a detective.
Do not talk to the police without an attorney. This is the single-most important thing to remember when you are being accused of any offense. Most people do not realize the police are allowed to lie to you and have years of experience and training to elicit the answers they are looking for.
You should also expect CPS to become involved in the investigation. CPS has a great deal of leverage to make you talk in most situations because if you do not cooperate with their investigation, they may ask a court to make sure you no longer have access to your children. Making things worse, anything you say to CPS will be given to law enforcement and potentially used against you.
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