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When Does A Parenting Mistake Become A Crime?


How many parents have left their children home alone while the parents worked, because they had no other feasible options?  Probably more than admit to doing so.  Failure to provide adequate supervision for children or placing them in unsafe situations can get parents into legal trouble, though.  It can lead the court to place your children in foster care; if you are lucky, the foster parents will be members of your extended family, but if you are not, they will be people you do not know.  If you are divorced, the court can modify your parenting plan so that you have supervised parenting time only and your children spend most of their time with your ex-spouse.  If your actions have resulted in preventable injury to your children, or if the danger you caused is great enough, you can even face criminal charges.  If you are being accused of child neglect, contact a West Palm Beach family violence offenses lawyer.

Parents Accused of Keeping Son Locked in Room With No Bathroom

In 2022, a couple in Palm Beach County was arrested for child neglect, false imprisonment, and aggravated child abuse, for keeping their son locked in a room with no toilet for hours at a time.  Police found the boy, who was then 13, locked in a garage, where the lock and the light switch were on the outside, so the boy could neither unlock the door nor turn the lights on or off.  The parents acknowledged that they had locked the boy in the room.  They claimed that they did this because it was unsafe to leave him unattended with their younger child and that the only way to be sure that the boy would not endanger his younger sibling when the parents were asleep was to lock him in the room overnight.  Because the room had no bathroom access, they gave him a bucket to use as a toilet.  The boy attended school regularly and received medical care; he was even under the care of therapists regarding his behavior problems.

The father’s trial began in September 2023.  He rejected a plea deal that would have given him a two-year prison sentence.  If convicted at trial, he could face 40 years in prison.  The mother’s case is still pending.

Contact a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Attorney William Wallshein has more than 39 years of experience, including five years as a prosecutor in Palm Beach County.  Contact William Wallshein P.A. in West Palm Beach, Florida to discuss your case.



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