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Infant In Protective Care Following Allapattah Incident


A young child is in protective care after being found alongside the road with the child’s mother after a car crash in Allapattah. The incident, similar to another one that took place recently in Ohio, involved a man passed out in the driver’s seat of the vehicle and the child’s mother on the ground next to the child’s car seat.  The mother was reportedly incoherent at the time responders showed up at the accident site. Officials are unsure what had caused the condition of the two adults. According to reports, there is a concern that their condition may have been the result of drug use. A local news station reported that the mother has had a history of drug use and that both she and the unconscious man found behind the wheel were given Narcan (an opiate antidote that reverses overdoses) prior to transport to a local hospital.  Police officials, however, have said they do not know the cause.

Florida’s Stance On Parental Drug Use As Child Abuse

Under Florida law, drug abuse by a parent can be deemed child abuse if specific factors are present. According to Florida Code Section 39.01(30)(a)(2), (g), a parent can be found to have committed the crime of child abuse if he or she exposes their child to either a controlled substance or alcohol and that exposure has negatively affected the child. Controlled substances include those which are either prescription drugs that have either not been prescribed for the parent or are not being used by the parent in the manner in which they were prescribed to be used. Controlled substances also include those found on either Schedule I or Schedule II of Florida Code Section 893.03.

How Is Exposure To Drugs Established?

Establishing whether or not a child has been exposed to drugs can be accomplished in one of two ways under Florida law. For newborns, testing may be performed at birth through blood, urine, or waste for the presence of alcohol, controlled substances, or traces of substances. Exclusions would be made for any type of medications or treatments given to the mother or the newborn by medical staff. The second way of establishing exposure to drugs can be through evidence of use of either alcohol or controlled substances by a parent which demonstrably affects the child in an adverse way – in other words, if the parent’s illegal drug use around the child harms the child.

Deric Zacca, P.A. – Your Criminal Defense Attorney

When you find yourself facing charges in a criminal matter, you need to speak with someone you can trust to provide you with the highest quality legal representation. If you are in the Broward County or Fort Lauderdale area, attorney Deric Zacca is the one to call. At the office of Deric Zacca, P.A., we are here to help you understand the full extent of your circumstances and how to proceed. The legal system can be complicated, but when you entrust your criminal matter to Deric Zacca you can rest assured you have the best working on your side. Contact us today at the office of Deric Zacca, P.A. to set up your initial consultation and take a step towards a more positive future.