Penalties for Failure to Report and False Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect - Texas

Date:

Failure to Report

Citation: Fam. Code § 261.109

A person commits an offense if the person is required to make a report under § 261.101 and knowingly fails to make a report as required.

A person who is a professional as defined by § 261.101 commits an offense if the person is required to make a report and knowingly fails to make a report as provided in this chapter.

An offense by a person is a class A misdemeanor, except that the offense is a State jail felony if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the child was a person with an intellectual disability who resided in a State-supported living center, the medical assistance program for persons with intellectual disabilities component of the Rio Grande State Center, or a facility licensed under chapter 252, Health and Safety Code, and the actor knew that the child had suffered serious bodily injury as a result of the abuse or neglect.

An offense by a professional is a class A misdemeanor, except that the offense is a State jail felony if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the actor intended to conceal the abuse or neglect.

False Reporting

Citation: Fam. Code § 261.107

A person commits an offense if, with the intent to deceive, he or she knowingly makes a report of child abuse or neglect that is false. An offense under this subsection is either of the following:

  • A State jail felony
  • A felony of the third degree if the person has previously been convicted under this section

A person who is convicted of an offense under this section shall be subject to the following:

  • Be required to pay any reasonable attorney's fees incurred by the person who was falsely accused of abuse or neglect
  • Be liable to the State for a civil penalty of $1,000