In Texas, child abuse is a serious violation, and Family Code Chapter 261 clarifies the nature of the offense. Defending yourself against such a charge can be an overwhelming experience, particularly if your word conflicts with the child’s testimony. Additionally, the media depicts child abuse offenders in a negative light, which may harm your reputation, and the harsh realities of such an accusation may seem impossible to overcome.
If you are facing a child abuse charge, you need a strategic legal plan. An experienced criminal attorney in Dallas can assess your case and devise a defense strategy that represents your interests. Call the Law Offices of Robert Gregg at (214) 891-7536 for help with your case, and read on for five child abuse defenses that may apply to your situation:
- Someone has falsely accused you.
Denying involvement in the crime is a common defense against child abuse charges in Texas. Many people falsely accuse others of child abuse, particularly in families that are dysfunctional or among parents fighting difficult child custody battles. The best strategy in such a scenario is to fight these allegations aggressively and provide proof to uncover the lie or wrongful accusation.
- An accident caused the injury.
Texas law does not punish accidents unless gross negligence or recklessness caused the incident. For example, if you accidentally slam the car door onto your child’s hand, you may have a genuine defense against child abuse charges; however, this defense may not work if you were negligent in some way leading up to the accident.
- Something other than abuse caused the injury.
Many parents face false child abuse allegations based on non-accidental circumstances. For example, a child who injures him- or herself during a fight with another child is not an abuse victim, nor is a child who has a pre-existing health problem, like epilepsy or brittle bone disease, that resulted in the injury. If you can prove the injuries resulted from something other than abuse, you may have a strong legal defense.
- Parents have a right to discipline their child.
In Texas, parents may discipline their children how they see fit, provided the discipline is reasonable in nature and does not cause bodily injury, according to TexProtects. Many child abuse charges question how parents discipline their children; however, parents can use parental privilege to justify reasonable discipline, provided their form of discipline did not result in any injuries.
- Munchausen Syndrome caused the injury.
Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP) is a rare legal defense for a recognized mental disorder. When caregivers lie about the child’s sickness or actively promote an illness to get sympathy and attention, they are suffering from Munchausen Syndrome. To prove this defense, you will need to provide evidence of medical or psychological evaluation.
Other defenses are possible, depending on the specific circumstances of your case. If you are an alleged child abuser, you need to understand the laws of child abuse in Texas.
Robert Gregg is a member of the Dallas Criminal Bar Association, and he is available to discuss your case. Call the Law Offices of Robert Gregg today at 214-559-3444 to talk to an experienced criminal lawyer about your charges.