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Is it constitutional for a legal guardian to spank or beat an individual who has reached the state's age of majority?

Fort Worth, TX |

Age of Majority, Family Code,

Attorney Answers 4


The Constitution isn't involved. The age of majority in Texas is 18. It isn't legal--as in it is illegal under the criminal codes--to beat anyone over or under age 18, unless in self-defense. Spank is a harder question for children under 18. Reasonable discipline is permitted--but nothing that would be called a beating would be reasonable. We are in a change of public opinion. In my day, my parents used corporal punishment and so did the schools. Today what we would have called normal is considered abuse. You definitely should not be leaving any marks or you can expect CPS to be involved regarding a child under 18. If you "beat" an adult you could expect the police to become involved if charges are pressed.

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I agree with Ms. Laster's response. To add to it - the age of majority in Texas is 18. But 17 year olds may be criminally responsible for their actions. You mentioned both beating and spanking. You did not mention the provocation and you did not mention the 18 year old's response. If someone beats an 18 year old, call the police, especially if there was physical injury. If someone beats anyone under age 18, call the police and CPS.
Hope this response has been helpful.
Good luck!

Any communication through the AVVO site with Sherrie Travers or any individual member of the firm, Travers & Travers, does NOT establish an attorney-client relationship. Any information given by Sherrie Travers or by any individual member of the firm through the AVVO site is general information and should not be relied on as legal advice. This answer is based upon limited information and is not intended to be conclusive in your circumstances as there may be other factors that might change or alter the advice given herein. Confidential or time-sensitive information should be conducted in person with an attorney.

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It's not a constitutional issue. It might be criminal assault/battery, depending on the facts and intensity.

This answer DOES NOT establish an attorney-client relationship. This answer is based on the limited information provided and is not intended to be conclusive advice. There are likely other factors that might influence or change the advice after a more lengthy consultation.

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The constitution does not apply when a private individual spanks another.

R. Jason de Groot, Esq. We do not have an attorney-client relationship. I am not your lawyer. The statements I make do not constitute legal advice. Any statements made by me are based upon the limited facts you have presented, and under the premise that you will consult with a local attorney. This is not an attempt to solicit business. This disclaimer is in addition to any disclaimers that this website has made. I am only licensed in Florida.

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