While some people charged with child abuse or child endangerment are intentionally harming their children, it’s worth recognizing most people accused of these crimes don’t intend to be a bad parent. In fact, some people are charged with child abuse or child endangerment simply because they hadn’t thought about how their behavior would affect their kids. This is certainly the case in the story of Krystin Sorich Lisaius, a former beauty queen accused of child abuse after her child tested positive for cocaine which was transmitted through her breast milk. Of course, even in cases where the parent didn’t intend to harm their child, anyone being charged with child abuse or child endangerment should always work with a top Del Mar defense attorney.
Krystin did cocaine with a friend on a Saturday night and then breastfed her baby at a birthday party the next day. Soon afterward, the child seemed lethargic, went limp and its eyes began rolling in its head. After the baby was brought to the hospital, Krystin and her husband refused to let staff take a blood sample and when child services got involved, a blood sample revealed the 6 month old had tested positive for cocaine. The couple then admitted to using drugs and even told a detective where he could find drugs in their home. It is unclear if they spoke to their attorney at this point, but Hillcrest criminal lawyer Peter Liss urges anyone in a similar situation to contact a lawyer as soon as child services becomes involved.
The couple is now being charged with child abuse and drug possession in Arizona. It’s worth noting that in California, they would likely be charged with child endangerment instead of child abuse. Child endangerment can be a misdemeanor or a felony, but given that this case resulted in the hospitalization of a baby, it’s likely the couple would be charged with a felony. That means the couple could face two years in prison and possibly lose custody of their child.
There are defenses to these accusations though. For example, a Pacific Beach child abuse defense lawyer could argue that Krystin believed the cocaine was cleared from her system after “pumping and dumping” what she believed to be the affected breast milk. Additionally, she could have prepared formula and simply forgot that she shouldn’t be breastfeeding and did so out of habit without thinking about it.
Aside from what happened to Krystin, there are may other actions that can result in child endangerment charges. For example, exposing a child to drugs in their home can result in criminal charges. Additionally, driving drunk with a child in the car can result in these charges and if the incident results in a collision, the San Diego District Attorney will usually charge the driver with felony child endangerment, even if no injuries occurred.
If you find yourself in a similar situation and are being charged with either child abuse or child endangerment, Gaslamp District child abuse defense attorney Peter M. Liss can help. Please call (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.