Injury to Elderly or Disabled Individual
While most assault cases are classified as a Class A misdemeanor under Texas Law, alleged offenders can face felony charges if the victim is a child, an elderly adult, or a disabled individual. Children, elderly, or disabled individuals are generally viewed as being defenseless and unable to protect themselves.
Injury to a child, elderly or disabled individual is a criminal offense with repercussions that can follow the defendant for the rest of his or her life. Aside from fines and imprisonment, he or she may lose housing opportunities, employment, and the ability to obtain or retain a professional license.
Texas Injury to Elderly or Disabled Individual Lawyer
If you have been arrested for allegedly injuring an elderly adult or a disabled individual, it’s imperative you secure legal representation immediately. Violent crimes are persecuted harshly under Texas law. A conviction can result in significant fines and imprisonment.
Kevin Bennett at The Law Office of Kevin Bennett is an experienced Austin criminal defense lawyer who can aggressively defend you in court. He can craft a strong defense for your case utilizing his skills, resources, and years of practice. Call (512) 476-4626 to schedule a free consultation today.
The Law Office of Kevin Bennett defends clients against criminal charges in Travis County, West Lake Hills, Sunset Valley, Lakeway, Austin, Pflugerville, Lago Vista, and the surrounding areas in Texas.
- Injury to an Elderly or Disabled Individual in Texas
- Who Qualifies as a Child, Elderly, or Disabled Individual?
- Penalties for Injury to an Elderly or Disabled Individual
- Additional Resources
Under Texas Penal Code § 22.04, alleged offenders commit this offense if he or she 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:
- serious bodily injury;
- serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury; or
- bodily injury.
The statute further provides that the 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 commits an injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual if they cause a serious bodily injury, serious mental deficiency, impairment, or injury, or bodily injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual.
To be charged with this crime, the victim must be a child, elderly, or disabled individual. The statute provides the following definitions for alleged victims:
- Child — A person 14 years of age or younger.
- Elderly Individual — A person 65 years of age or older.
- Disabled Individual — An individual with autism spectrum disorder, developmental disability, intellectual disability, severe emotional disturbance, and/or traumatic brain injury, or 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.
A conviction for injury to an elderly or disabled individual can result in severe penalties such as steep fines and imprisonment. The specific classification of the crime depends on the alleged offender’s intent and the nature of the injuries suffered by the alleged victim. Under Texas law, the offense is classified as a:
- State jail felony if the alleged offender causes bodily injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual as the result of criminal negligence. A state jail felony is punishable by up to two years in state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
- Third-degree felony if the alleged offender intentionally or knowingly causes bodily injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual. A third-degree felony is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
- Second-degree felony if the alleged offender recklessly causes serious bodily injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual. The offense is also categorized as a second-degree felony if the offender knowingly causes bodily injury to a disabled individual residing in a state-supported living center or licensed health facility when he or she is the employee of the center or facility providing direct care for the alleged victim. A second-degree felony is punishable by a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $10,000.
- First-degree felony 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. A first-degree felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 99 years or life in prison and/or a maximum fine of $10,000.
Texas Penal Code: Injury to an Elderly Individual or Disabled Individual – Access the Texas Penal Code website to view section 22.04 which constitutes the injury to a child, elderly or disabled individual crime. You can also view penalties for the offense.
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services – Follow the link provided to access the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) website. DFPS is the state agency responsible for investigating cases of alleged exploitation involving children, elderly individuals, and disabled individuals.
Austin Injury to Elderly or Disabled Individual Attorney | Travis County, TX
Have you recently faced allegations of injuring an elderly or disabled individual? If the answer is yes, turn to The Law Office of Kevin Bennett for experienced legal counsel. Hiring a qualified criminal defense attorney will significantly increase your chances of receiving reduced charges or having them dismissed altogether.
Attorney Kevin Bennett at The Law Office of Kevin Bennett has been practicing criminal defense for years and has represented numerous people in all types of violent cases. He can provide answers to all your questions today.
The Law Office of Kevin Bennett accepts clients throughout the greater Travis County area including Austin, Del Valle, Bee Cave, Lago Vista, and West Lake Hills. Call (512) 476-4626 to schedule your first consultation for free.