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Criminal defense: Woman charged with child endangerment

A woman accused of abandoning her 14-month-old baby outside a bar is now facing charges, according to local sources. A Pennsylvania woman from Hazleton was arrested after police were called about a possible abandoned infant. If she has not done so already, she's likely in the process of securing criminal defense representation. 

Details about this bizarre case are still limited. However, it has been confirmed that the 18-year-old has been charged with public drunkenness, underage drinking and child endangerment after the events of Aug. 26. Police were conducting a saturation patrol of the neighborhood in conjunction with federal authorities when they found a woman sitting in a car in front of a bar with the accused woman's child. 

The woman told police the child had been left unattended for some 25 minutes before the woman stepped in to care for the infant. Police took the child to a hospital, where the young mother soon arrived. She allegedly appeared drunk and apparently told officers she had been drinking before taking the child to the bar. It is unknown whether Pennsylvania child care services was contacted. 

Understandably, accusing a mother of endangering her child is a serious charge. In this case, counsel will likely focus on preparing and presenting a criminal defense that addresses the formal accusations and also takes into consideration the possibility that child services may seek to limit the mother's parental rights. If the facts reported in the news article are essentially correct, efforts may be made to negotiate a plea agreement that limits the mother's criminal exposure while preserving her custodial rights.

Source: National Post, "Pennsylvania woman jailed after baby left outside bar", Aug. 28, 2017

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