What penalty can I face for child endangerment when I took steps to prevent said endangerment?

UPDATED: Jan 9, 2011

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What penalty can I face for child endangerment when I took steps to prevent said endangerment?

My 21 month-old son got out of the house at 7 am while I was sleeping yesterday (despite baby gates, locked deadbolts, and a child safety door knob cover). I was arrested and charged with child endangerment (he was unharmed and went to the neighbors). I was released and given back custody of my son; I am cooperating with child protective services. Additionally, I have installed another higher lock on each exterior door, as well as door alarms. I’m currently waiting to find out when I appear in court. I need to know what possible penalties that I face.

Asked on January 9, 2011 under Criminal Law, Texas


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You need to seek legal help in your area as soon as you possibly can.  Texas has very strict laws and severe penalties for a charge of child endangerment.  In fact, if convicted a person could go to jail for up to 20 years.  You need to speak with someone who deals with these type of cases all the time.  From your question you appear to have taken the steps necessary to protect your son.  He just got out of the house. And not you have installed additional locks.  Child Protective Services is just doing their job but you have to protect yourself here.  Get legal help immediately.  Good luck to you.  

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