Criminal charges are serious for anyone, but they can be especially life-changing for those who have children. In the case of one Colorado woman, she was in jail for a drug possession conviction when she had her child. He spent the beginning of his life in the hands of the government while his mother was incarcerated due to supposed drug offenses and probation violations.
It can be difficult for parents to get their children back once they are in the system. It takes government approval, often including regular drug tests, to prove to the state that the parent is fit to gain custody of his or her child. The Denver mother in this story did enough to get her baby once she was released from jail but now faces felony child abuse charges. Her baby died last week in the bathtub.
According to news reports, a visitor at the mother’s Denver residence found the 10-month-old boy in the bathtub. The boy had drowned in the overflowing tub of water. Sources report that the mother was in another room, on the computer when the visitor discovered the baby. Reports suggest that she was shocked and distraught to learn that her son had drowned.
The mother was formally charged with felony child abuse yesterday. This is a serious charge that could land her in prison. Sources do not indicate that the defendant in this child abuse case has other children. For those who are charged with abuse and have children, a conviction means more than just possible jail time; it can mean getting the government between them and their children. Since many child abuse or neglect charges are filed against good people due to a misunderstanding, that’s a scary potential consequence worth a vigilant defense.
ABC 7 News: “Police: Mom On Computer When Baby Died In Tub,” Alan Gathright, Sep. 28, 2011