We can't imagine how or why a young child could be left home unattended for, but you hear it on the news almost everyday and the criminal justice system is always dealing with the issue.
Today, a father was arrested on child neglect charges after his 2 year old son was found home alone at an apartment complex in the Orlando area. Police said a man cleaning carpets at one of the apartments heard a child screaming nearby. When he discovered where the screaming was coming from, he went inside and found the toddler all alone.
The child was supposed to be in the care of his father. When the father showed up, the police were waiting for him. Officers caught the father in a lie. He told them the boy was supposed to be with a friend of his. The police quickly learned that the "friend" doesn't actually exist.
To make matters worse, the inside of the apartment was in complete disarray, and there was little there to eat and drink. There wasn't even a cup or bottle for the child. Compounding the father's legal trouble, police found several burnt marijuana blunts.
Police said the child's mother would not be charged. I'm sure she was as shocked as the investigators. No matter how valid the excuse might be, leaving a child home alone can carry a serious charges.
Even if no bodily harm or severe injury is caused, state prosecutors will not go easy on the defendant. Child Neglect is a Third Degree Felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison. That's why it is imperative to have a qualified defense attorney to explain the criminal implications of this charge.
The last time child neglect was overlooked by the authorities, it was in a movie starring Macaulay Culkin.