Injury to a Child Defense Attorney in Austin, TX
Being charged with injury to a child in Texas puts you in the middle of an emotionally charged criminal case that could end with you going to prison. Injury to a child is a felony that may be charged in cases of suspected child abuse, as part of a broader domestic violence case, or as a single crime.
Anyone facing charges of assaulting a child or children in Texas needs to engage an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. An Austin injury to child defense lawyer with Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C., can respond quickly. We will seek to have you released from custody and represent you effectively throughout the process.
For more than 60 years, the dedicated attorneys at Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey have aggressively defended the rights of Texans who faced criminal charges such as allegations of violence against children. Our defense attorneys provide top-level legal representation and support, no matter how complicated the facts of an injury to a child case may be.
We prepare every case we take for the possibility of going to trial. However, we work to resolve a case without a trial when it’s in our client’s best interest. You can count on personalized attention when you hire us. You will be a priority for us during every stage of legal proceedings.
We are a mid-sized law firm with big-firm capabilities. We have received several awards and superior ratings from organizations, such as Super Lawyers and the Martindale-Hubbell legal reference. Contact us today at (512) 476-4873 or fill out our online form to get your free and confidential initial legal consultation.
Why Hire a Lawyer After an Injury to a Child Charge?
It is a mistake to face any criminal charge without qualified legal representation. Considering the seriousness of the felony charge of injury to a child, it’s crucial for you to seek the best representation possible. Texas prosecutors have professional obligations as well as societal pressure to obtain guilty verdicts in cases involving children who have been assaulted or abused.
Depending on the extent of physical trauma, an injury to a child charge may be filed as a felony of the first degree (with the possibility of a life sentence) or the second or third degree, which carries a maximum of 10 years in prison. If you are the defendant in a case of injury to a child, your freedom is on the line. You need someone on your side who knows Texas law and local courts.
When held by police, a defendant should decline to answer questions and ask to speak to a defense attorney. In Austin, Texas, you should contact Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey at (512) 476-4873. We strive to respond to calls within the hour.
Why Choose Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C., For Your Injury to a Child Defense?
The defense attorneys at Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey will work to ensure your rights are protected as you face the criminal justice system.
We will work to seek the best possible outcome available under Texas criminal law for you. We will first gather all available evidence to understand your situation and the details of your charges. We will evaluate the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and seek initially to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed. In some situations, a defendant may benefit from pleading guilty to lower charges in a plea bargain. This decision is always the client’s to make.
If a trial cannot be avoided, prosecutors for the State of Texas must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to gain a conviction. We will attack the prosecution’s case at every turn and counter it with a solid defense.
Anyone who faces criminal charges has the right to a robust legal defense. The criminal defense attorneys of Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey have the experience, resources, dedication, and reputation in Travis County courts that allow us to seek the best available verdict for you. In the event of a guilty verdict, we will review trial records to identify options for having the verdict overturned on appeal.
How an Injury to a Child Defense Lawyer Can Benefit Your Case
As your defense attorneys, Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey will study the prosecution’s evidence against you and seek additional evidence pertinent to the charges of injury to a child. There are multiple potential defense strategies available in a case of assault on a child.
Our objective, in order of preference, is to:
- Demonstrate that our client is not guilty of the charges.
- Demonstrate enough problems with the state’s case to have charges dropped.
- Demonstrate extenuating circumstances that persuade prosecutors to reduce the charges.
- Negotiate to have our client plead guilty to lesser charges and accept a lighter sentence than the original charges would have carried. If we can arrange a plea bargain, accepting or rejecting it will be our client’s decision.
- Go to trial with a strong defense to all charges.
Potential defenses to charges of injury to a child include:
- Exculpatory evidence, which is proof that the crime did not happen. Medical records and a doctor’s testimony may indicate that the child was not injured as the charges state or that the child’s injury was suffered in an earlier incident that did not involve the defendant.
- Lack of intent, negligence, or omission. The prosecution must prove the injury was inflicted intentionally or with “criminal negligence” or intentionally by omission. Charges may be dropped if evidence indicates that there was no intent or fault in an unfortunate incident.
- Right of self-defense. Individuals have the right to use force to defend themselves against an attack or perceived threat. The child in question may have wielded a weapon or, at the age of 13 or 14, may be large enough to pose a threat.
- Castle Doctrine. The “Castle Doctrine” (Texas Penal Code § 9.01) allows individuals to use reasonable force while defending their property, such as a vehicle or home. Instead of retreating, a person has a legal right to act in self-defense. A personal threat of bodily injury isn’t required for this law to apply.
- Defense of others. Defending others from a child intent on causing harm may be a justifiable reason to use physical force that causes injury to a child.
- Duress. An individual may be found not guilty of an offense if he or she can prove they were compelled to commit the offense by the threat of imminent death or serious bodily injury.
- Insanity defense. The insanity defense requires proving that, as a result of severe mental disease or defect, the defendant did not know that their conduct or failure to act was wrong.
- Mistaken identity. Witnesses sometimes identify the wrong person as the one who committed a crime. A child’s identification of an adult deserves close scrutiny. An alibi backed by credible witnesses and/or other evidence may prove that the defendant is not the person who hurt the child.
- Mistake of fact. A mistake of fact defense doesn’t deny participation in the offense. Instead, it asserts that a mistaken belief caused the defendant to commit the crime.
- Involuntary intoxication. Involuntary intoxication typically occurs when someone causes an individual to take an illicit drug or other substance without their knowledge. Voluntary intoxication is not a defense for the commission of a crime. But an involuntarily intoxicated person can claim they did not know the actions they engaged in were wrong.
- Law enforcement errors or misconduct. If law enforcement officials violate a person’s rights or make certain mistakes, defense attorneys can move to have the case dismissed. Issues we would take advantage of on a client’s behalf include but are not limited to:
- Illegal arrest
- Illegal search and seizure
- Faulty suspect lineup and/or identification
- Faulty or fabricated evidence, including “coached” witness testimony
- Bias regarding race, ethnicity, immigration status, socio-economic status, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religion
- Other prosecutorial and/or police misconduct.
There may be opportunities to have charges of injury to a child reduced or dismissed before your case goes to trial. To identify and seize upon such opportunities, you need an experienced, local criminal defense attorney who is willing to investigate your case, who understands what the law allows, and who has relationships with prosecutors that will ensure they hear and consider the evidence in your favor.
How Much Does a Lawyer Charge for an Injury to a Child Defense?
Every case has unique factors to consider. We can discuss our fee structure with you after evaluating the details of your case.
What Are “Injury to a Child” Charges in Texas?
The law that makes injury to a child a crime is found in Texas Penal Code Chapter 22.04. The offense is an injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual. For the purposes of this law, a child is someone 14 years old or younger.
The statute creates a criminal offense that occurs if someone acts “intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence” or intentionally chooses not to act and thereby causes a child:
- Serious bodily injury
- Serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury (Shaken baby syndrome, or abusive head trauma, is a serious brain injury often caused by child abuse.)
- Bodily injury.
The statute specifies that the owner, operator, or employee of a group home, nursing facility, assisted living facility, or institutional care facility may be charged with injury to a resident of that facility under the same circumstances as outlined above.
An intentional decision to not act that causes a child’s injury is an offense if the individual charged:
- Has a legal or statutory duty to act
- Has assumed the care, custody, or control of the child.
What Is the Punishment for Injury to a Child in Texas?
Injury to a child is a felony. The punishment available upon conviction increases according to the nature of the child’s injury and the perpetrator’s actions. Injury to a child is charged as a:
- First-degree felony if the perpetrator intentionally or knowingly causes serious bodily injury or brain injury to a child. It is punishable by 5 to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Second-degree felony if the perpetrator recklessly causes serious bodily injury or brain injury to a child or intentionally or knowingly causes bodily injury to a disabled child residing in an institutional care facility. It is punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Third-degree felony if the perpetrator intentionally or knowingly causes bodily injury or brain injury to a child. It is punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- State jail felony if the perpetrator recklessly causes bodily injury or brain injury to a child or with criminal negligence and by omission causes injury to a child residing in an institutional care facility. It is punishable by 180 days to 2 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
Consult with an Expert Lawyer in Criminal Law – Recover The Control!
If you have been charged with injury to a child in Texas, you should engage an experienced legal counsel as soon as possible. A criminal defense attorney from Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C., can investigate and develop a stout defense to charges of injury to a child.
Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey has successfully fought for the rights of clients since 1963. When you hire an experienced and knowledgeable Austin assault defense attorney from our firm, you will receive quality representation and advocacy throughout the legal process.