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Two women arrested for child cruelty after leaving child on bus

It seems that more and more activities are now treated as criminal. In many cases, what once may have been mere negligence or less can now carry a jail sentence and corresponding long-term stigma that often follows a criminal conviction. This change makes a criminal defense important for even the most minor of incidents.

In one such recent example of this trend, two South Carolina women were accused of committing cruelty against children after having left a sleeping child on a school bus. It seems that a 49-year-old school bus driver and a 21-year-old bus monitor allegedly missed the fact that a 5-year-old boy fell asleep and failed to exit the bus when it arrived at his elementary school. The child remained in the vehicle until different driver found him a few hours later when the bus was scheduled to make a late morning run.

The two suspects are not accused of any ill intent, yet they face up to 30 days incarceration and a fine if found guilty of not following a school bus-sweeping procedure. This penalty would be in addition to any civil liability for actual harm that may have come to the child. Moreover, the school fired both the bus driver and the bus monitor.

It is easy to see how a criminal conviction for something as sinister sounding as "cruelty to a child" could make it difficult for the two employees to find jobs in the future, especially in the field of child care or education.

When accused of a crime, clearly the defendant's biggest hope is to avoid conviction entirely and a criminal defense attorney can assist with that goal. But as shown above, the stigma that surrounds even an accusation or criminal charge is reason enough to consult a competent criminal defense attorney as soon as a defendant comes under suspicion.

Source: MidlandsConnect.com, "2 arrested after 5-year-old left alone on bus in Sumter," Ray Chandler, March 7, 2013.

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