What is the most likely outcome for a person with no priors who was arrested in Florida for child neglect?
Even though Florida doesn't have a specific law which states the minimum age at which children can be left home alone, doesn't Florida basically use 12 years of age as the baseline for at what age kids can be left home alone?
The parent was charged with child neglect, a third degree felony in Florida.
3 attorney answers
based on the facts you described its a weak case for the state whether they file it ot not. Again, assuming the facts are listed by the state as you explained them. Remember there are alsways two sides to every story. Contact our office if you need representation
The previous attorney mentioned the fact that sometimes the State Attorney can be convinced that they should not pursue charges. If the case has not yet been filed then this is a great idea and should be acted upon quickly; if the case is already filed then it will be too late for this.
We would need to look at what level of proof that the state actually has; as you may know it is the state that has to prove every element of the ofense beyond and to the exclusion of a reasonable doubt and they may not be able to do this.
If you would like to chat further my office is here in Broward county where I previously worked as a prosecutor.
As long as the kids are developmentally normal and know how to use 911 etc., I would hope the State Attorney wouldn't even file formal charges. The aggravating factor is that it sounds like it was in the middle of the night, so the kids weren't exactly on notice that they were on their own. It ultimately will be up to the Assistant State Attorney who's assigned to charge the case...the case could get dropped and just let DCF handle it, it could get sent to diversion, or it could get charged. If it gets charged, it could get resolved with a plea to a misdemeanor contributing to dependency, sent to diversion, still get dropped, or if they take an extreme hardline position they may want a plea to the felony neglect. The person definitely wants to get an attorney as soon as possible. It's much easier to convince the State to NOT file then it is to drop something after they have filed.