Like most states, Texas takes assault crimes seriously. While most simple assault charges are considered misdemeanor offenses, certain factors can elevate the assault charges to felony offenses. For instance, if the alleged victim is a child or elderly person, you could face felony charges that carry significant penalties. If you’ve been charged with injury to a child or elderly individual in the Pearland or Houston area, you need to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney right away to ensure that your rights are protected. Here’s a brief overview of what constitutes an injury to a child or elderly individual and what to expect in the days and months ahead.
Legal Definition of Injury to a Child or Elderly Person in Texas
According to Section 22.04 of the Texas Penal Code, “ A person commits an offense if he intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence by act, or intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly by omission, causes to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual: (1) serious bodily injury; (2) serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury; or (3) bodily injury.” Right now we’ll focus on offenses involving children and the elderly and what these charges entail. The law further defines “child” as a person aged 14 or under and “elderly individual” as someone who is 65 years or older. Owners, operators, or employees of group homes, nursing facilities, or other care facilities can be charged with injury to a child or elderly person as well.
Long-Lasting Penalties for Felony Convictions
If it’s determined that you recklessly or negligently caused bodily injury to a child or elderly person, you will likely be charged with a state jail felony offense. If convicted, you could face up to two years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines. Those accused of intentionally or knowingly causing bodily injury to a child or elderly individual in Texas may face third-degree penalty charges, punishable by up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Additional factors, such as whether the offender was an employee of a care facility or whether the offender intentionally caused serious bodily injury to the alleged victim can elevate the charges to second- or first-degree felony offenses. A person convicted of a first- or second-degree felony offense may spend decades behind bars and owe significant fines.
Involve a Skilled Pearland Criminal Defense Lawyer Right Away
Facing accusations of assault or injury to a child or elderly individual can be overwhelming, as these crimes carry weighty penalties. As soon as possible, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your situation. Your attorney will assess the specifics of your case to determine the best path forward.
If you are facing assault charges in the Pearland or surrounding area, contact the Law Offices of Keith G. Allen, PLLC today at (832) 230-0075 to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated criminal defense attorney.