By Luz Root

Don’t do drugs with your children in your car.

A man is facing charges of child neglect in Osceola County due to overdosing in a car with his children sitting in the back.  The man was found unconscious and unresponsive in the driver’s seat with his foot on the brake pedal. The concerning part is that his children, a 2-year-old and a 11-month-old, were sitting in the back.

osceola man arrested child neglect

Witnesses called law enforcement and broke the car’s window to get the children out safely. When police arrived, they realize the man had overdosed. They provided him with “Narcan,” a drug to treat opioid overdose, which is likely what saved his life.

In order to prove a charge of Child Neglect, the State will have to prove that the accused (1)willfully or by culpable negligence failed or omitted to provide the alleged victim with the care, supervision, and services necessary to maintain the victim’s physical or mental health; or  failed to make a reasonable effort to protect the alleged victim from abuse, neglect, or exploitation by another person;  (2) The accused was the “caregiver” for the children, and  (3) The children were under 18 years of age.

For the state it will be easy to prove elements (2) and (3). The father was a caregiver for the children and the children were under 18 years old.

The question is, was it willful? Was it reasonably foreseeable?

This is another reminder to exercise your 5th Amendment Rights and do not talk to police. After the man re-gained consciousness, he admitted to taking his “regular drugs”, heroin.

The good news is that Florida empowers families with both parents present and the courts are hesitant about removing parental rights.  The man is another victim of the Opioid crisis of America, and the judge would rather see him rehabilitated and sober.

In cases like this, we would demonstrate to the judge and prosecuting attorney that jail may not be the appropriate punishment.

Have questions about your specific situation? Give us a call to schedule your free initial consultation with one of our experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys.