Many parents disagree over the proper way stop raise their children. From which foods they believe is safe to eat, to how much sun they think is suitable for young ones, to which schools they feel their kids should hope to attend, parents all have their own opinions as to what is best for their offspring.
Sometimes, as our Delray Beach and Fort Lauderdale family law and criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert have learned, these disagreements lead to one parent and/or another taking matters into their own hands, which sometimes results in illegal activity.
At what point does the exercise of parental preference become a matter of criminal activity? The line is often-times blurred, but a case concerning objections to the vaccination of a child, which has made national headlines recently, is putting the important line in the spotlight.
Megan Everett, a Sunrise, FL, mother of a 3-year-old girl, was arrested earlier this month after police received a tip on her location. The tip came in after an episode of the CNN show “The Hunt with John Walsh” featured her and her criminal case. Everett is accused of “kidnapping” her daughter (who was 2 years old at the time) and hiding out with her for more than a year in an effort to avoid having the child vaccinated. As our Delray Beach and Fort Lauderdale family law and criminal defense attorneys know, the issue of vaccinations is hotly debated. (Some members of society contend that vaccinating young children can cause developmental problems.)
Then, over a week after Everett was arrested, her boyfriend, Carlos Carrie Lesters III, of Broward County, was arrested. As the Sun-Sentinel has reported, according to Sunrise Police, Lesters was arrested for the “role he played in helping Megan Everett conceal her minor child.” Police further noted that Lesters, on multiple occasions, visited Everett and her child and knew where they were; despite this knowledge, and the fact that Lesters knew they were evading law enforcement officers, Lesters never came forward to police.
Our Delray Beach and Fort Lauderdale family law and criminal defense attorneys know that because of the tip phoned-in to police, law enforcement officers were able to arrest Everett and, more importantly, reunite the 3-year-old girl with her father, who had no doubt been terrified for his daughter’s safety.
No disagreement over parenting techniques should ever lead to a child being put in harm’s way. Kidnapping is kidnapping, often times regardless of the relationship between the adult taking the child and the child being taken.
If you have any questions about this issue, or if you have been arrested for or charged with a crime in Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade County, please contact our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert by calling 1-888-5-DEFEND (1-888-533-3363) to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to assisting you.