Franklin, PA asked in Family Law for Pennsylvania

Q: What is I took a no contest plea and got charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child (F2) in PA?

Short of a very long story I was wrongfully accused by a pediatrician. This pediatrician accused me of abusing my son, but later on it turned out to be from a medical condition. But unfortunately the prosecutor decided to charge me anyway and now it's to be fought out in court with the accusing doctor and my doctor's. It was said to be a 15 day trial which I could NEVER afford. Well, anyway, they offered me a plea deal. It states Endangering the Welfare of a Child under 6. I am to serve it on house arrest and have supervised contact until I complete all classes and therapy. If I accept this plea, and follow all recommendations do I have a chance of getting my son back?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Peter Christopher Lomtevas
Peter Christopher Lomtevas pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Schenectady, NY
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: This is another one of those questions that requires candor that is unpleasant to government and government's supporters to answer fully and accurately. Federal money goes to the states for child protection and certain criminal prosecutions meaning the tail wags the dog, and the outcome can be unpredictable.

A child protection case means the state gets paid. Business minded politicians hand pick judges to understand the need for federal money to pay the judiciary's paychecks. The possibility that a parent abused a child is an opportunity for the state to cash in at the expense of the parent. Given the complexity of a government structure, all of this is not a conflict of interest unless legislatures enact statutes that make it such.

Here, the parent ended up in criminal prosecution. Money buys justice, and the asker informs us she cannot afford a fifteen-day trial. Prosecutors ensure that trials are lengthy so as to discourage trials, and instead to encourage plea bargains.

The question is whether taking a plea bargain will restore possession of the child to the asker. We simply cannot answer this question. The general federal law that governs child abuse and prevention is written to restore family unity, but another statute that concerns adoption and safe family placement of children governs the termination of parental rights and the forced adoption of children. Where the asker falls on this continuum assuming a plea to an EWC charge is a question best answered by her attorney.

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