Almost any crime victim could be a child, but there are a number of offenses in Texas that are specifically focused on child victims. Most of these carry severe punishment ranges. Additionally, child abuse cases often involve fighting on two fronts: the police investigation and the Child Protective Services (CPS) investigation. This is an area where your lawyer’s experience is going to be tested.
Anyone charged with an offense involving a child needs a lawyer who understands and is skilled at interviewing child witnesses. As a former CPS investigator, I have the experience and demeanor necessary to put a child witness at ease and have a conversation aimed at getting to the truth. I also know the techniques and motivations behind CPS investigations, and effective ways of protecting my clients’ rights in that arena.
Lawful Discipline or Child Abuse?
Child abuse cases very often arise from mere suspicion on the part of an adult caregiver or family member. The problem is that perfectly lawful discipline or a simple accident can be misinterpreted by well-meaning people. And of course, some people aren’t well-meaning at all. I have seen so many child abuse cases arise out of a divorce situation, custody fight, or attention-seeking behavior from a young child or an emotionally troubled teenager. Law enforcement is primed to believe even the flimsiest allegations, and you’re seriously mistaken if you think the police will give you a fair shake. You will need protection immediately – certainly before you’re pressured into making a statement to a detective or social worker.
Sexual Abuse Cases in Texas
In Texas, sexual abuse cases are very common. Increasingly, I am seeing prosecutors charge Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child, which is an enhanced first-degree felony carrying a minimum punishment of 25 years, all the way up to 99 years, or life, in prison. A number of other offenses are considered “sexual abuse” if committed against a child (such as indecency, aggravated kidnapping, burglary, trafficking, and compelling prostitution, among others). If, in any period of 30 or more days, a person age 17 or older commits two or more acts of sexual abuse against one or more victims under age 14, this offense may be charged.
Other frequently-charged child abuse crimes include Sexual Assault, Injury to a Child, Abandoning or Endangering a Child, Indecency with a Child, Online Solicitation of a Minor, and many others. These cases can be extremely complex and require an experienced, careful defense lawyer who knows how to prepare a detailed case.
If you or a family member have been charged with or under investigation for an offense where the alleged victim is a child, I can help you. Call me or email me directly from this page. Your initial consultation will be free of charge.