An arrest in Central Texas illustrates how you can be charged with child endangerment by actions you take before the birth of your child.
A media report noted the 34-year-old woman gave birth to a baby at her home in Robinson on October. The woman was arrested after the newborn tested positive for methamphetamine, according to media reports.
The Waco Tribune-Herald reported Child Protective Services investigators were called to the home just a day after the child’s birth after receiving a report of physical abuse on the baby, according to an arrest affidavit.
The report stated that the baby allegedly tested positive for methamphetamine on Oct. 21. Five days later, CPS removed the child from the mother’s care, the arrest affidavit states.
A family member is said to have told child protective services that the mother used meth twice since she had been home with her newborn.
The woman was arrested by police, charged with a felony child endangerment charge and booked into McLennan County Jail. The report said she had five other outstanding warrants for her arrest, including drug possession, failure to appear, two speeding warrants, and a violation of a promise to appear.
Child Endangerment in Texas
Under the Texas Penal Code 22.041, a person commits an offense is he or she “intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence, by act or omission,” commits conduct that places a child under 15 in immediate danger of death, physical or mental impairment of physical injury.
The statute specifically refers to the drug methamphetamine. A person can be charged with child endangerment if he or she manufactured, possessed, or introduced methamphetamine in the presence of the child.
It’s also a child endangerment offense if an analysis of the child finds the presence of methamphetamine in the child’s body.
Three southern states have specific laws that can convict mothers of offenses committed against the unborn child for drugs they took during pregnancy. A report on ProPublica highlighted how some of these offenses have inherent dangers and a mother might be charged over the use of a prescribed drug.
At the Medin Law Firm, we help people who have been charged with a wide variety of drug charges.