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Couple faces felony charges of child neglect after drug tests

The safety and well-being of children is something the criminal justice system takes seriously. People who are alleged to have risked the lives or health of children may be dealt with severely in the courts. One South Carolina couple is now facing felony charges of child neglect after a child was removed from their custody.

The Department of Social Services did blood tests on the parents and their 14-month-old child, and the results were disturbing. The agency contacted police to inform them that the child had apparently tested positive for the same drugs found in the blood of both parents. The drugs included cocaine, benzoylecgonine, norcocaine and marijuana. Narcotics agents at the sheriff's office then began their investigation of the couple.

South Carolina police and Social Services removed the child to a safe home. The man and woman were arrested and charged with felony child neglect. Each could spend up to 10 years in prison if convicted. The court also has the discretion to impose a fine. It is also likely there will be some determination made about the long-term custody of the child.

With the complicated charges they face, the man and woman will rely on their attorney to build a solid defense. They may have a difficult road ahead, especially if they have previous felony charges on their records. It is likely they will face testimony from doctors and child advocates, and it will be important for their lawyer to refute the allegations. An attorney who has experience in criminal defense will be essential to protecting their rights and their freedom.

Source:, "Toddler tests positive for cocaine in Oconee County", Abe Hardesty, Oct. 6, 2016

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