Child Abandonment Lawyer – Brett. A Podolsky
Under Section 22.041 of the Texas Penal Code, child abandonment occurs whenever an individual leaves a child somewhere without “necessary and reasonable care” for his age and ability. Section 261.101 of the Texas Family Code also makes it a requirement for anyone who has reason to believe a child has been abandoned to contact the authorities. Allegations of child abandonment are taken very seriously, with an investigation culminating almost immediately in most cases.
Charges of child abandonment in Houston can be brought as a result of an investigation. Individuals other than the parent of a child can be charged with this crime, as the law makes it illegal for anyone to who custody, care or control of a child to be liable for abandonment if they fail to act in a reasonable manner.
Possible Consequences For Abandoning a Child
Abandonment charges are normally considered a state jail felony. This means that the punishment for child abandonment charges can be:
- Between six months and two years in county jail
- Fine of up to $10,000
In addition, there could be other consequences in Houston, such as the loss of custody or visitation rights. When the act is related to one’s employment, the result could be termination in addition to the loss of a professional license.
Abandonment can sometimes result in child neglect charges being brought as well. This can happen whenever an individual also fails to adequately provide for the child. Neglect does not have to involve failing to meet physical needs, as it can also occur if the child is exposed to acts that harm him mentally or emotionally as well. Neglect charges could be either a misdemeanor or felony, depending upon the particular circumstances.
Defending Charges of Child Abandonment
In order to prove abandonment, the state of Texas will need to show beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did indeed have a duty to care for the child in question. They will also have to show that the act of abandonment actually did occur. Eyewitness testimony should be scrutinized very carefully in order to reveal motives that may have been previously overlooked by the prosecution.
Fighting Child Abandonment Allegations
If you have been accused of abandoning a child then you will need a criminal defense attorney who can fight for your rights. Brett A. Podolsky is a criminal defense attorney who has been certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He has a lot of experience with abandonment cases and knows the most effective defense strategies to reduce your punishments and clear your good name.
For a free legal consultation, contact Brett A. Podolsky at 713-227-0087.