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Georgetown, TX 78626
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Violent Crimes

Violent Crimes

Injury to a Child or to an Elderly or Disabled Person

Simple assault causing bodily injury is commonly a misdemeanor offense, but such crimes can become felony offenses if the alleged victim is a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual. Alleged victims in these types of cases are often presumed to be defenseless and prosecutors aggressively pursue maximum punishments for alleged offenders.

An alleged offender’s intent can play an important role in determining the severity of the criminal charges in these cases. Individuals accused of causing an injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual should understand that state law does provide for certain affirmative defenses to prosecution that may prohibit or mitigate any legal consequences.

Attorney for Injury to a Child / Elderly / Disabled Person in Georgetown, TX

If you were arrested or believe you might be under investigation for allegedly causing an injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual in Central Texas, it will be in your best interest to not say anything to authorities until you have legal representation. Law Office of Michael J. Price P.C. aggressively defends clients accused of all kinds of violent crimes in Leander, Taylor, Hutto, Benton, Harker Heights, and many surrounding areas of Williamson County and Bell County

Michael J. Price is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Georgetown who will make every effort to help you achieve the most favorable outcome to your case that results in the fewest possible penalties. Call (512) 354-1880 to receive a free, confidential consultation that will allow our attorney to provide a complete evaluation of your case.


Overview of Injury to a Child or to an Elderly or Disabled Person in Texas


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Injury to a Child or to an Elderly or Disabled Person Charges in Williamson County

Under Texas Penal Code § 22.04, an alleged offender commits injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual if that person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence, by act or intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly by omission, causes to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual a serious bodily injury, serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury, or bodily injury. A child is defined as a person 14 years of age or younger, an elderly individual is defined as a person 65 years of age or older, and a disabled individual means a person who otherwise by reason of age or physical or mental disease, defect, or injury is substantially unable to protect the person's self from harm or to provide food, shelter, or medical care for the person's self, or with one or more of the following:

  • Autism spectrum disorder — Defined by Insurance Code § 1355.001 as a neurobiological disorder that includes autism, Asperger's syndrome, or Pervasive Developmental Disorder;
  • Developmental disability — Defined by Human Resources Code § 112.042 as a severe, chronic disability that is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or to a combination of a mental and physical impairment; is manifested before a person reaches the age of 22; is likely to continue indefinitely; results in substantial functional limitations in three or more major life activities, including self-care, receptive and expressive language, learning, mobility, self-direction, capacity for independent living, and economic sufficiency; and reflects the person's needs for a combination and sequence of special interdisciplinary or generic care, treatment, or other lifelong or extended services that are individually planned and coordinated;
  • Intellectual disability — Defined by Health and Safety Code § 591.003 as significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning that is concurrent with deficits in adaptive behavior and originates during the developmental period;
  • Severe emotional disturbance — Defined by Family Code § 261.001 as a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder of sufficient duration to result in functional impairment that substantially interferes with or limits a person's role or ability to function in family, school, or community activities; or
  • Traumatic brain injury — Defined by Health and Safety Code § 92.001 as an acquired injury to the brain, including brain injuries caused by anoxia due to near drowning.  The term does not include brain dysfunction caused by congenital or degenerative disorders or birth trauma.

A person commits this offense under Texas Penal Code § 22.04(a-1) if the person is an owner, operator, or employee of a group home, nursing facility, assisted living facility, intermediate care facility for persons with mental retardation, or other institutional care facility and the person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence by omission causes to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual who is a resident of that group home or facility a serious bodily injury, serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury, or bodily injury.

Under Texas Penal Code § 1.07, a bodily injury is defined as physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition. A serious bodily injury means a bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.


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Injury to a Child or to an Elderly or Disabled Person Penalties in Georgetown

If an alleged offender intentionally or knowingly causes serious bodily injury or serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual, the crime is classified as a first-degree felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. If an alleged offender recklessly causes serious bodily injury or serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual, it is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

If an alleged offender intentionally or knowingly causes bodily injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual, the crime is classified as a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. If, however, the alleged victim is a disabled individual residing in a state supported living center, as defined by Health and Safety Code § 555.001, or in a facility licensed under Chapter 252 of the Health and Safety Code, and the alleged offender is an employee of the center or facility whose employment involved providing direct care for the alleged victim, the crime is a second-degree felony.

If an alleged offender recklessly causes bodily injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual, it is a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000. An offense involving serious bodily injury, serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury, or bodily injury that results from an alleged offender acting with criminal negligence is also classified as a state jail felony.

Texas Penal Code § 6.03 provides the following definitions of culpable mental states:

  • A person acts intentionally, or with intent, with respect to the nature of his or her conduct or to a result of his or her conduct when it is his or her conscious objective or desire to engage in the conduct or cause the result.
  • A person acts knowingly, or with knowledge, with respect to the nature of his or her conduct or to circumstances surrounding his conduct when he or she is aware of the nature of his or her conduct or that the circumstances exist. A person acts knowingly, or with knowledge, with respect to a result of his or her conduct when he or she is aware that his or her conduct is reasonably certain to cause the result.
  • A person acts recklessly, or is reckless, with respect to circumstances surrounding his or her conduct or the result of his or her conduct when he or she is aware of but consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that its disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from the actor's standpoint.
  • A person acts with criminal negligence, or is criminally negligent, with respect to circumstances surrounding his or her conduct or the result of his conduct when he or she ought to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from the actor's standpoint.

Some of the affirmative defenses to prosecution established under Texas Penal Code § 22.04 include:

  • The alleged offender did not know and could not reasonably have known that the individual was a disabled individual;
  • The act or omission was based on treatment in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized religious method of healing with a generally accepted record of efficacy;
  • There is no evidence that, on the date prior to the offense charged, the alleged offender was aware of an incident of injury to the child, elderly individual, or disabled individual and failed to report the incident; and the alleged offender was a victim of family violence, as that term is defined by Family Code § 71.004, committed by a person who is also charged with an offense against the child, elderly individual, or disabled individual; did not cause a serious bodily injury, serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury, or bodily injury; and did not reasonably believe at the time of the omission that an effort to prevent the person also charged with an offense against the child, elderly individual, or disabled individual from committing the offense would have an effect; or
  • the alleged offender was not more than three years older than the alleged victim at the time of the offense and the alleged victim was a nondisabled or disabled child at the time of the offense.

While Texas Penal Code § 22.04(b) establishes that an omission that causes a serious bodily injury, serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury, or bodily injury is conduct constituting an injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual offense if the alleged offender has a legal or statutory duty to act or has assumed care, custody, or control of a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual, it is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this subsection that before the alleged offense the alleged offender:

  • notified in person the child, elderly individual, or disabled individual that he or she would no longer provide any of the care described by Texas Penal Code § 22.04(d);  and
  • notified in writing the parents or person other than him or herself acting in loco parentis to the child, elderly individual, or disabled individual that he or she would no longer provide any of the care described by Texas Penal Code § 22.04(d); or
  • notified in writing the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services that he or she would no longer provide any of the care set forth in Texas Penal Code § 22.04(d).

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Texas Resources for Injury to a Child or to an Elderly or Disabled Person

Georgetown Housing Authority (GHA) — The GHA provides affordable housing for eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. On this website, you can learn more about some of its housing programs, how to apply for housing, and the GHA’s mission, vision, and values. You can also find answers to frequently asked questions.

Georgetown Housing Authority
210 W. 18th St.
Georgetown, TX 78626
(512) 863-5565

Williamson County Children's Advocacy Center, Inc. — The Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center (WCCAC) is a 501(C)3 non-profit organization that provides a child-sensitive, safe environment for children to report abuse. Visit this website to learn more about what the organization does, read recent news, and find information about upcoming events. You can learn how to donate or volunteer.

Williamson County Children's Advocacy Center
1811 SE Inner Loop
Georgetown, TX 78626
(512) 943-3701


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Law Office of Michael J. Price P.C. | Georgetown Injury to a Child or to an Elderly or Disabled Person Lawyer

Do you think that you could be under investigation or were you already arrested in Central Texas for allegedly injuring a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual? You should not make any kind of statement until you have contacted Law Office of Michael J. Price P.C..

Georgetown criminal defense attorney Michael J. Price represents individuals throughout Williamson County and Bell County, including Round Rock, Cedar Park, Killeen, Georgetown, Temple, and several other nearby communities. You can have our lawyer review your case and answer all of your legal questions when you call (512) 354-1880 or complete an online contact form to set up a free initial consultation.


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