A couple may face child neglect charges after leaving their children unattended in a car after being taken into custody by Florida police for shoplifting. A 30-year-old woman and her 24-year-old boyfriend were taken into custody at about 7 p.m. on Jan. 5 after allegedly stealing $600 worth of goods from a Lauderdale Lakes Wal-Mart. Police say that the three young children were not found until around 2 a.m. on Jan. 6.

Police also say that the pair did not tell police that the children were waiting for them in a car. They went in front of a Broward County judge to face grand theft charges in the original case, and the woman was released from jail during the afternoon hours of Jan. 6. There was no information given as to what happened to the woman’s alleged accomplice. The children were placed into the care of relatives.

A conviction on a theft charge could carry significant penalties such as jail time or a fine. It may also be possible for someone convicted of theft to be put on probation or be sentenced to community service. Anyone who is facing such charges may wish to seek the help of a criminal defense attorney. An attorney may be able to dispute the charges in court.

This may be done by arguing that the individual did not intend to take the merchandise out of the store without paying for it. A first offense may grant some leniency in court if a defense attorney is able to emphasize their client’s desire to reform. In some cases, it may possible to negotiate a plea agreement that may allow a defendant to receive a mitigated sentence from a judge.

Source: Local 10, “Shoplifting suspect’s children left alone in car after arrest“, Peter Burke, January 06, 2015

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