A woman in Denton was recently arrested on an active warrant after she attempted to choke her father. When law enforcement first responded to the call, the woman’s father reported that he was almost entirely blind and used a cane to navigate his home. The man’s daughter had walked into his house, stated she was hungry, and yelled at her father and another woman who lived there. The woman grabbed her father, ripped the front of his shirt, and put her arms around his neck in an effort to strangle him. While speaking with law enforcement, however, the man reported that his daughter did not hurt him and did not make it difficult to breathe. The woman was taken to Denton City Jail on charges of injury to a disabled person as well as criminal trespassing.
No matter if a disabled person was intentionally or unintentionally injured, the state of Texas aggressively prosecutes individuals who are suspected of committing this offense. As a result, people who are charged with this offense frequently benefit from obtaining the assistance of a criminal defense attorney.
What Constitutes a Disabled Person
For the purpose of this law, a disabled person includes anyone over the age of 14 who, due to age, physical disease, mental disease, defect, or injury, is substantially unable to protect him or herself from harm or provide things like food, shelter, and medical care.
Texas Law Concerning Injury to a Disabled Person
Texas Penal Code 22.04 states that a person commits the offense of injury to a disabled person if they intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence cause a disabled person to experience serious bodily injury, serious mental deficiency, or bodily injury.
If convicted of performing the offense either “knowingly” or “intentionally,” a person faces up to 99 years in prison as well as fines of up to $10,000. If the act is performed in a reckless manner, a person faces up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
Owners and Operators Charged with the Offense
It should also be noted that this charge can also arise if a person is the owner, operator, or employee of an assisted living facility, intermediate care facility, or other place where disabled individuals reside and that person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence causes the disabled person serious bodily injury or serious mental deficiency.
While treated as a separate offense, this act carries similar penalties, with a person who “knowingly” or “intentionally” injures another facing 99 years in prison and fines of $10,000 and a person who reckless performs the act facing two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
Contact a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are charged with injury to an elderly person, do not hesitate to contact Wheeler Law Office. Our experienced legal counsel knows what steps to take to make sure that your rights are protected. Speak to our office to schedule an initial free consultation.
(image courtesy of Josh Appel)