Most residents of Texas would never even imagine assaulting a child, elderly or disabled person. However, this crime occurs. The state has special laws pertaining to injuries caused to these protected individuals.
What are the laws for injury to children, the elderly and disabled people?
In Texas, most assault cases that involve injuries suffered by the victims are classified as class A misdemeanors. However, when the victim is a child, elderly or disabled person, the laws are stricter because these groups are not as able to protect themselves as well as others can. A person can face felony charges for an assault under these circumstances if the action causes injury.
How are these groups classified in Texas?
Per the laws surrounding this type of crime, a child is considered any person age 14 or younger. Elderly people are 65 or older.
A person is considered disabled when they have any physical or mental disability that might prevent them from properly caring for themselves. The following disabilities are included in this category:
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Developmental disabilities
- Intellectual disabilities
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Severe emotional disturbance
- Mental disabilities or disorders
- Physical disabilities
- Serious injuries or defects
Bodily injuries include any level of pain, impairment or illness of a person’s physical condition that could be permanent, disfiguring or even lead to death.
What are the penalties for a conviction?
A conviction of this assault crime carries severe penalties as it’s considered a felony. If the injuries were caused by recklessness, the individual could face up to two years in jail and a maximum fine of $10,000. However, if the injuries were caused intentionally, penalties might include 99 years to life in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
An assault against a child, elderly or disabled person carries serious repercussions. Protecting your rights is urgent if you face these charges.