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Posted on February 3, 2014 by Law Office of Brett A Podolsky
According to Texas law, child abuse can happen in a number of manners. You could be accused of child abuse if you commit an act that will cause a child physical, mental or emotional harm, or fail to protect him or her from such an act. A number of acts can result in allegations of child abuse, a few of which include:
- Failure to properly supervise a child
- Using a controlled substance in a manner that causes harm to a child
- Sexual misconduct
Those who work in certain occupations must report suspected incidents of child abuse or face severe penalties for withholding information. Teachers, doctors, coaches and daycare workers may subsequently make a report whenever a child shows signs of injury such as bruising or concussions. As a result, you could find yourself the target of an investigation, even if you have done nothing wrong whatsoever.
Proving the Child Abuse Charges
The state of Texas is required to prove every element of child abuse beyond a reasonable doubt. Before bringing charges, a lengthy investigation can sometimes ensure. As a part of this investigation, witnesses may be questioned, or representatives from the Department of Family and Protective Services (DPFS) will sometimes make a visit to your home in order to gather more information.
You may think that an investigation will end well if you are not actually guilty of child abuse. This is in fact a dangerous way of thinking, because it’s not at all unheard of for good people to be charged with child abuse. Not all DPFS investigators are interested in finding out the truth. Some of them are only concerned with bringing charges, even if there is no actual basis for the allegations whatsoever.
Possible Child Harm Punishments
According to the Texas Penal Code, if you are convicted of child abuse, you can face significant sanctions, a few of which may be:
- Jail time
- Anger management
- Family counseling
- Loss of visitation privileges
- Loss of professional license
In addition to these sanctions, your reputation may suffer as well. As a result, you could find that friends and neighbors are no longer willing to associate with you, or that your career suddenly becomes stagnant. The negative stigma associated with child abuse allegations can persist for years.
Get an Experienced Child Abuse Lawyer
Child abuse charges are nothing to be taken lightly. A lot is at stake for you and your children, which is why you may want to discuss any accusations with an attorney as soon as possible. Speak with Brett A. Podolsky by calling 713.227.0087.