Criminal Charges and Custody

Can an arrest impact custody?

It’s safe to say the father didn’t earn any brownie points for his efforts in the kitchen.  In fact, the allegedly innocent “mistake” which resulted in his arrest is the kind of nightmare that can not only have criminal consequences, but could cost a parent child custody.

Most people might be impressed to hear that a father juggling a four-year-old managed to bake two trays of brownies for a casual gathering with two other adult family members and the couples’ three young children. But the police didn’t see it that way.

Reportedly, one of the other adults called the police “to report that they and their three children may have been poisoned” after they fell sick after eating the brownies and returning home. Though expected to make a full recovery, the three children reportedly “were lethargic and appeared to be seriously ill” and were all transported to the hospital for treatment while the adults received treatment at the scene.

When investigators arrived at the baker father’s home to the reported aroma of marijuana wafting through the front door, a search allegedly uncovered “marijuana and drug paraphernalia” as well as the baker’s four-year-old child who was reportedly suffering from the “same symptoms” as the other three children. The child was taken to the hospital and treated for a “drug overdose,” according to authorities.

The father —who reportedly admitted to lacing one pan of brownies with pot and accidentally serving those brownies to his family members instead of the “benign” pan– –was arrested and charged with “four counts of misdemeanor child abuse” and several other drug-related charges.

Child custody is always decided with the “best interests of the children” standard in mind and it encompasses both the physical and legal custody of the child. Physical custody is where the child resides and legal custody is the right of a parent to participate in the decision-making process for the child regarding such important life choices as education, religion, medical treatment, and extracurricular activities. If it any point a parent is incarcerated, that parent’s parental rights may be in jeopardy. It was not noted who had custody of the child of the child in the pot brownie case.

If you are considering a divorce or have questions about child custody or termination of parental rights, the Law Office of Gary R. Swavely, Jr. can help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

From our office in Reading, Pennsylvania, we’ve been representing the people of Reading and the surrounding counties for over 25 years in all aspects of family law