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Citation For Cruelty To Children; Left Toddler In Car - What Now?

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Citation For Cruelty To Children; Left Toddler In Car - What Now?

Postby Corwynn » Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:58 am

I received a citation for cruelty to children today. I went into the video store to rent a movie and ran into a friend. My 23 month old was strapped in his carseat for 15 minutes alone. I was not in sight of the car during my time in the store. When I came out, three officers were around my car trying to get in it; passer-by had observed and dialed 911 fifteen minutes earlier.

The day was mild, not hot, and my son was in a pleasant mood and snacking on goldfish crackers (no signs of distress). The 'lead' officer wrote me a citation for "cruelty to children." I was professional and apologetic to the officers and did not attempt to argue or justify my actions. I'm set to appear before a judge in one week.

The officer said he could have arrested me and called Child Protective Services, neither of which he did. I signed the citation and left for home, feeling like an awful parent. I love my son, so mad at myself.

The officer said that this was cited as a misdemeanor, although it doesn't mark it as that on my citation. It simply says " Cruelty to Children," that's all. When he left for a bit to finish the citation in his car, I expressed fear and concerns about losing my job. The other two officers replied that "about 96% of first time offenses get dropped" (that's the figure one of them quoted). But I am freaking out a little bit. His mother and I are separated but I am the main bread winner for all of us. I have a security clearance that is mandatory for my job, and am concerned of the high likelihood this will impact my employment (e.g., end it) if it is a Misdemeanor. I am requires to report Misdemeanors to my job, it would be the end of my career I am positive.

I also googled online that in some places misdemeanors can be penalized with jail time. I can't find anything specific to my town/state however (Albuquerque, New Mexico). Please, please I'm in need of good feedback.

What are likely outcomes of this?

Should I contact a Family lawyer or?
Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:36 am

Citation For Cruelty To Children; Left Toddler In Car - What Now?

Postby Cristobal » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:03 pm

You sound like a caring parent who made an error in judgement. Misdemeanors, by definition, may include penalties that include incarceration not exceeding one year. However, unless you have a criminal record (which sounds unlikely given what you have written), the judge is unlikely to impose such a sentence. You should hire an attorney to represent your interests and minimize the penalty. I would like to think that you would be treated with a light hand by the court.
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:02 pm

Citation For Cruelty To Children; Left Toddler In Car - What Now?

Postby Earnest » Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:54 am

A single minor offense should not be disqualifying under the adjudicative guidelines. But definitely contact a lawyer and get this disposed of as favorably as possible. Consider it an investment in your future employability. The officer who quoted the 96% figure might have been telling the truth, or he might have been blowing smoke to keep you calm, so stack the odds in your favor.

And depending on your position and agency, and how the police report citations, your employing agency might be getting a report of this regardless of how it is adjudicated. You can expect it to come up on your next reinvestigation, too.
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:57 am

Citation For Cruelty To Children; Left Toddler In Car - What Now?

Postby Arndell » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:43 pm

what about you car was on fire or somebody had an accident with your car.
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:50 am

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