Police arrested the father of a toddler after daycare providers discovered 48 packets of heroin in his 2-year-old son's jacket.
Phillip Young, 27, of New Jersey, has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child.
What's in store for him as his case proceeds?
Endangering Welfare of a Child
In New Jersey, a parent can face child endangerment charges for causing harm to a child in a manner that, in turn, causes the child to be abused or neglected.
There are several degrees to the charge. It can encompass behavior spanning from leaving children in cold cars to more willful and extreme actions such as emotionally and physically torturing children. To be convicted, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the parent knew such conduct would make the child abused or neglected.
In this case, the father likely knew he was harming his child if he did in fact place heroin in his son's pocket. Considering the child is only 2 years old, there was a very real danger of him ingesting the narcotic. Fortunately, there was no indication the toddler was aware the drugs were in his pocket, New York Daily News reports.
Although the child was unscathed, it's pretty safe to say that the father's alleged actions would fit within the state's broad definition of child endangerment.
Such charges may also trigger a child welfare investigation. Thus far, it's unclear whether that's happening in this case.
Bail Set at $85K
Young is being held on $85,000 bail, the Daily News reports.
Bail is a process through which an arrested criminal suspect pays a set amount of money to obtain release from police custody, usually after booking.
To post bail, Young or someone on his behalf, called a surety, must make the payment to the court. The court will then issue a document or a court order explaining the conditions of his release.
If Young fails to show up to court after posting bail, he could face a fine, imprisonment, or both. It would be tacked on consecutively to any other criminal sentence.
- Toddler: Heroin stuffed in boy's jacket (Reuters)
- Another Tanning Mom Charged With Child Endangerment (FindLaw's Blotter)
- Dad Left Baby in Car to Go Gambling (FindLaw's Blotter)
- 'Hot Sauce Mom' Convicted of Child Abuse in AK (FindLaw's Blotter)