HB 1205

83(R) - 2013
Criminal Justice

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Tan Parker

Bill Caption

Relating to the offense of failure to report abuse or neglect of a child.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal impact is anticipated on the State or local governments.

Bill Analysis

Summary: Under current law (Section 261.101 of the Family Code) a "professional" such as a teacher, doctor, nurse, or child care provider, must report to authorities if the professional "has cause to believe that a child has been abused or neglected or may be abused or neglected" within 48 hours of the suspicion. HB 1205 specifies that if a professional who is required to report under Section 261.101 "knowingly fails to make a report" of child abuse or neglect, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor. HB 1205 enhances the penalty for such an offense to a state jail felony if it is shown at trial that the defendant intended to conceal the child abuse or neglect.

Analysis: Statute already requires certain professionals to report suspected child abuse or neglect. This legislation simply specifies the penalties for failing to comply with the law. The penalties are set on a graduating scale so that a professional who is demonstrated at trial to have knowingly failed to report suspected abuse or neglect and is proven to have "intended to conceal" that neglect is held to a higher standard of responsibility. Professionals required to report suspected abuse are specified in statute. We encourage legislators to support HB 1205.