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Don’t treat child abuse cases like they are black and white

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Someone either mistreated a child or they didn’t, right? To many people, however, the law in Texas leaves more to the interpretation of police and prosecutors than people realize. An individual does not necessarily need to cause physical harm to a child through abuse or neglect for the state to charge them with a child abuse offense.

Sometimes, parents wind up facing criminal charges because of an alleged failure to protect their child. Someone who never intended to hurt the child could face criminal charges and the loss of their parental rights because of the actions of another person.

What is a failure to protect case?

Parents have responsibilities to their children. They must provide food and shelter and ensure that the children have access to appropriate medical care. Sometimes, parents make mistakes about who they trust to be around the children.

A common scenario leading to allegations that a parent failed to protect their child would involve an abusive romantic partner. The abuser could be the biological parent of the children or an unrelated adult living with the parent and child. When that unrelated individual becomes abusive toward the child, the state can charge them for their misconduct.

The parent can also face criminal charges even if they didn’t condone the abuse or play any role in it by claiming that they failed to protect the child.

How do you defend against allegations of abuse that you didn’t commit?

Single parents often have a difficult role to fill. They have to provide financially for a child while simultaneously being responsible for their care around the clock. A parent may have to leave the child with another adult when they go to work every day.

If that caregiver turns violent against the child, the parent could face legal repercussions even though they did not play a role in or condone the abuse or neglect that their child endured. They may not have even known about what happened when they were not home.

Parents facing allegations that they contributed to or ignored child abuse could face many of the same penalties as the person actually committing acts of abuse against the child. Learning more about the Texas state laws that govern child abuse and domestic violence cases could protect you from state actions including prosecution or the termination of your parental rights.