Criminal charges of child abuse for football star Adrian Peterson

The National Football League is no stranger to scandal. Many players have been accused of various crimes, and the backlash from fans can impact player’s careers — even if they are eventually acquitted. Non-celebrities can learn from the experiences of these players in relation to how criminal charges can affect a person’s life, from their job to their personal relationships. One recent example involves Viking’s player Adrian Peterson who turned himself into Texas law enforcement on charges of child abuse.

Peterson reportedly used a thin tree branch, commonly known as a “switch,” to whip his young son. He claims that he attempted to discipline his son, but that injuries resulted from the alleged beating. Corporal punishment is not illegal in Texas, and many families use it to teach their children right from wrong. However, if it goes too far, a parent can face criminal action.

Peterson is now charged with felony child abuse but is out on bail. If he is convicted, he could have to pay a $1,000 fine or spend up to two years in state prison. Those who face these types of charges can be convicted according to the law if evidence proves that they intentionally, knowingly, negligently or recklessly caused bodily harm or mental injury to a child.

Those who face criminal charges, whether they are for child abuse or another crime, have the right to defend themselves in court, as Adrian Peterson will have the opportunity to do. Anyone in this scenario is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a Texas court of law. The knowledge of what is at stake for an accused person may help them to get the assistance they need in handling their case.

Source:, “Vikings star Adrian Peterson turns himself in, freed on bail“, Lacey Rollins, Sept 13, 2014