Law Office of Kimberly N. Shanklin, PLLC.
Serving Denton County Since 2002
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Abandoning or Endangering a Child

Abandoning or Endangering a Child

Chapter 22 of the Texas Penal Code places restrictions and guidelines on the use of force by an individual acting outside of official State capacity.

“Abandoning or Endangering a Child”, as per § 22.041 of the Texas Penal Code, occurs when a person leaves a child in any place without providing reasonable and necessary care for their child, under circumstances under which no reasonable, similarly situated adult would leave a child of that ager and ability.

A person commits an offense if:

  1. having custody, care, or control of a child younger than 15 years, he intentionally abandons the child in any place under circumstances that expose the child to an unreasonable risk of harm.

  2. he intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence, by act or omission, engages in conduct that places a child younger than 15 years in imminent danger of death, bodily injury, or physical or mental impairment.

An offense committed under 1) is either a state jail felony, punishable by a term of confinement in a state jail ranging from 180 days to 2 years, or a fine of up to $10,000, a third degree felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment ranging from 2-10 years, as well as a fine of up to $10,000, or a second degree felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment ranging from 2-20 years, as well as a fine of up to $10,000. If the actor abandons the child with the intent to return, is a state jail felony. If the actor abandons the child without the intent to return, it is a third degree felony.

If the actor abandons the child under circumstances that a reasonable person would believe would place the child in imminent danger of death, bodily injury, or physical or mental impairment, it is a second degree felony.

Conduct is considered to be placing a child in imminent danger of death, bodily injury, or physical or mental impairment if:

  • the person manufactured, possessed, or in any way introduced into the body of any person the controlled substance methamphetamine in the presence of the child

  • the person's conduct related to the proximity or accessibility of the controlled substance methamphetamine to the child and an analysis of a specimen of the child's blood, urine, or other bodily substance indicates the presence of methamphetamine in the child's body; or

  • the person injected, ingested, inhaled, or otherwise introduced a controlled substance listed in Penalty Group 1, Section 481.102, Health and Safety Code, into the human body when the person was not in lawful possession of the substance as defined by Section 481.002(24) of that code.

An offense committed under 2) is a state jail felony and is punishable by a term of confinement in a state jail ranging from 180 days to 2 years, as well as a fine of up to $10,000.

Severity of Crime

State Jail Felony

  • Confinement in a state jail for not more than two years and not less than 180 days

  • In addition to confinement, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000

Third Degree Felony

  • Imprisonment in the institutional division for not more than 10 years or less than two years

  • In addition to imprisonment, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000