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Florida prosecutors may file felony charges against mothers who jaywalk with children. Orange County prosecutors are asking local police to arrest mothers seen crossing streets with children outside of a crosswalk. They believe offenders can be charged with felony child neglect.

Florida prosecutors are advancing a plan to levy felony charges against mothers who jaywalk with children – the Newspaper.com. “Orange County prosecutors are asking local police to arrest mothers seen crossing the street with children outside of a crosswalk. Prosecutors believe they can charge offenders with felony child neglect.”

So, do fathers or other adults have a special immunity from prosecution? Why pick on the moms?

“Florida law (827.03) states that child neglect charges, ‘may be based on repeated conduct or on a single incident or omission that results in, or could reasonably be expected to result in, serious physical or mental injury, or a substantial risk of death, to a child.’ The maximum punishment for the offense is a $5000 fine and five years in prison. Source: Police Plan Crackdown On Jaywalking Parents (WESH-TV (Orlando, Florida), 9/28/2005)”

If this actually works in our state, I can nominate other conduct that would potentially qualify for felony charges. High on my list would be the adults who perch small children on motorcycles or allow them to sit in the bed of a pickup truck. I also think any adult who provides fireworks to a child may deserve a close look. What about adults who provide minors with alcohol? Or, people who permit a known sex offender to “entertain” children in their home? Each of these scenarios has caused injury to, or the death of, a child on multiple occasions in Florida.

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