Last July in Southwest Florida, a young couple allegedly left their 2 month old baby alone in their un-air-conditioned car while they shopped for over half an hour.
Had the baby died, the parents would have faced manslaughter charges or worse.
But, miraculously, the baby was alright.
As a result, the state elected to drop felony child neglect charges.
For the criminal case to have moved forward, the parents, at a minimum, would have to have understood that they were placing their baby at grave risk of harm, according to prosecutors.
According to authorities, that didn’t appear to be the case here. The mother reportedly forgot that the baby was in the car and the father thought that she was with friends. The couple were both found to be sober and to have a clean record.
And so the matter, as well as the baby, are relegated to the civil realm of the Department of Children and Family Services.
For DCF’s case, there need only be ignorance. For which their remedy is education.
Now, the parents are attending parenting classes at DCF’s direction.