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Felony charge of child neglect for parents in Florida

When most people think of child neglect, they likely think of the physical definition of the term. This involves a caregiver failing to provide the basic needs for a child. This could include needs ranging from shelter and food to clothing and adequate living conditions. In certain cases, child neglect may occur when a child is not properly supervised for an extended period of time, usually several days or weeks, or when a parent fully abandons a child. In any case, suspected child neglect could lead to a felony charge.

The parents of an 11-year-old boy in Florida have recently been charged with neglect. Supposedly, their son was left to take care of himself outside of their home for roughly 90 minutes. The parents say that they were unable to make it home in time to let him in, and he did not have a key. Now, the parents are facing a felony charge, which they find unbelievable.

When a neighbor saw the young boy playing basketball outside with no parental supervision, he or she called the police. Child Protective Services then came and took the 11-year-old boy and his 4-year-old younger brother away from the parents. The kids spent the next month with a foster family before finally returning home.

It is important to note that Florida does not have a minimum age at which children can be left at home alone. Therefore, the lack of such a law may be an integral part of the family's defense, as it will leave the prosecution to prove that the child was at some sort of risk while alone for those 90 minutes. The family is expected back in court before the end of this month, and they are expected, by the judge, to have reached an agreement with the prosecutor regarding the felony charge. 

Source:, "Parents Charged with 'Neglect' After 11-Year-Old Plays in Yard for 90 Minutes", June 14, 2015

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The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
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Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-3424

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