Take a look at the picture above. Is there anything that troubles you about this picture? I’m bothered by the distance between the adult and the two small children that are walking several feet behind the man. Even more troubling is the time and place that this occurs. This picture was taken about 8:20 a.m. near the intersection of Philips Highway and University Boulevard on a Monday morning as I drove to my office. By the time the man made it to the intersection, he did finally stop and wait for the children. However, I wondered if he would have simply kept going if traffic had allowed him to continue.
As a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, I sometimes find it hard to look at the world surrounding me and not break out into a legal analysis of situations that I encounter from time-to-time. When it comes to situations that involve children, I suppose I wear my father hat and my Jacksonville criminal defense attorney hat at the same time. I immediately began to consider all the reasons why what I was seeing was an incredibly bad idea. I was actually proud that my feelings as a parent dominated my thoughts as a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer; my thoughts on how I could defend this man were second to my thoughts of “what in the [insert expletive of your choice here] were you thinking?”
Florida Statute 827.03 defines neglect as follows:
“Neglect of a child” means:
1. A caregiver’s failure or omission to provide a child with the care, supervision, and services necessary to maintain the child’s physical and mental health, including, but not limited to, food, nutrition, clothing, shelter, supervision, medicine, and medical services that a prudent person would consider essential for the well-being of the child; or 2. A caregiver’s failure to make a reasonable effort to protect a child from abuse, neglect, or exploitation by another person.
Well… child neglect is a felony level crime that, at its core, is the same as willful child abuse, and a person that is convicted could potentially end up in prison. We’ve all witnessed situations were we’ve seen things done that were so stupid that we thought that the dummy doing it should be arrested. Arguably, most parents, good ones anyway, would agree that this is one of those situations. Imagine if something had happened to those children. The finger absolutely would be pointed at the father. This is one situation where a person can actually be arrested for doing something stupid.
How do you defend yourself if you were in this situation? That’s where hiring the right criminal defense lawyer comes into play; hiring that person is how you defend yourself. Even in cases where the evidence may be overwhelming, making the correct choice regarding your lawyer can make a world of difference.
At the Law Office of David M. Goldman, PLLC, we have experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyers that can help if you or a loved one is accused of a crime. We have handled enough cases to know that bad things can happen to good people, and that good judgment sometimes escapes good people. Let our experience and training help go to work for you. Initial consultations are always free. The best thing you can do in the worst situation is to retain a knowledgeable lawyer that keeps your best interest as the number one priority. Call us today at (904) 685-1200. We are available 24 hours a day in emergency situations by calling our after hours number at (904) 302-7629.