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Toddler Heroin Case Lands N.J. Dad in Jail

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. Related Resources: 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)
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Fleeing From Justice: What Can Happen?

Fleeing from justice is an overall bad idea. Not only will you be considered a fugitive, but there are no legal benefits for trying to escape criminal prosecution. Of course, that hasn't stopped criminals from trying to hide from law enforcement. But even some of the most notorious fugitives like mob boss Whitey Bulger eventually get caught. Same with lesser-known folks who try to get away with things like being a deadbeat parent. So while each situation is different, here are a few examples of what can happen to criminals who try to flee from justice: The statute of limitations for the crime won't apply. For federal crimes, the statute of limitations for the crime committed doesn't run out just because the criminal is on the run. For example, if the statute of limitations for a crime is five years, but the criminal intentionally hides out in another country for 10 years to avoid prosecution, he can still be prosecuted for the crime if he's caught even though the five-year limitations period has passed. A warrant will be issued for your arrest. If a criminal has an upcoming court date but doesn't show up, a bench warrant will be issued for his arrest because he's in contempt of court. For fugitives who flee from one state to another to avoid arrest, a fugitive from justice warrant will be issued in one jurisdiction for someone who's a fugitive in another jurisdiction. Your mugshot may make you (in)famous. Criminals attempting to escape the law are not only facing legal problems, but could also face reputational issues. Law enforcement frequently shares mugshots of wanted criminals on its social media pages and with the media, so everyone will know you're fleeing from justice. Bounty hunters can potentially track you down. Bounty hunters are authorized by the law to track down criminal defendants who skip out on their bail and fail to appear for their court dates. Bounty hunters have a monetary incentive to track down criminals on the run, so even if law enforcement officers don't catch you, a bounty hunter might. You may face extradition. Criminals who flee to another state or country can face extradition back to the jurisdiction where the crime occurred. For criminals who've fled to other states, the state seeking extradition must file the proper documents, show that you've been charged with a crime in that state, and show that you're a fugitive. This means that you intentionally went to another jurisdiction to avoid getting caught. If you need more help understanding how the law applies to criminals fleeing from justice, consult a criminal defense attorney in your area. Related Resources: Fugitive sought since 1977 found in California (MSN News) Fleeing Police by Car is a Violent Felony (FindLaw's Blotter) Joran Van Der Sloot's U.S. Extradition Set for 2038 (FindLaw's Blotter) 5 Countries With No U.S. Extradition Treaty (FindLaw's Blotter)
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Man to Be Tried for Murder for Childhood Crime

A Texas man who is accused of setting an 8-year-old boy on fire in his teens is going to be tried for murder -- more than 15 years later. A state court judge ruled Thursday that Don Willburns Collins, 28, is eligible to be tried as an adult for a crime he allegedly committed as a 13-year-old. Although the victim, Robert Middleton, didn't die immediately from his burns, he died from skin cancer in 2011 which was "blamed on his burns," reports The Associated Press. Collins' murder prosecution may force him to come to grips with a gruesome childhood crime. Past Crime, Present-Day Charge Complicated murder cases often take years after a victim's death to coalesce, so Collins' case isn't entirely unheard of. For murderers like Whitey Bulger, it took decades for prosecutors to try and convict him for his killings -- many of which occurred in the 1970s. There is no statute of limitations for murder charges in Texas (or any other state for that matter), so Texas prosecutors are free to bring charges against Collins for murder -- no matter when the alleged act occurred. The only problem is that Collins was a child when he allegedly doused Middleton in gasoline and set him ablaze; when Middleton died in 2011, Collins was already in his 20s. Trying Juveniles as Adults In Collins' case, a judge not only found that there was probable cause for prosecutors to try him for murder, but she found that he could be tried as an adult, the AP reports. In general, defendants who commit crimes as juveniles can still be tried as adults if the crime is serious enough and state law allows it. Texas law allows adults who allegedly committed capital crimes (like murder) as children age 10 and above to be tried as adults as long as: The case hadn't been tried in juvenile court, The state received new evidence of the crime after the defendant's 18th birthday, and There is probable cause to believe the defendant committed the crime. Collins' attorney argued that this law didn't apply to Collins, as it was passed one year after he allegedly set Middleton on fire, reports the AP. But for now, it appears that Collins is headed to adult court for his crimes as a child. Related Resources: Ruling in '98 assault is 'tremendous victory' for Robbie Middleton's family (Houston Chronicle) Can You Expunge Your Juvenile Record? (FindLaw's Blotter) Juvenile Incarceration Rate Lowest Since 1975 (FindLaw's Blotter) Juvenile Life Sentences Unconstitutional Without Parole (FindLaw's Decided)
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Joran Van Der Sloot’s U.S. Extradition Set for 2038

Joran van der Sloot is set to be extradited to the United States to stand trial for a crime he allegedly commited in the wake of Natalee Holloway's disappearance. But his extradition won't happen until 2038. Van der Sloot, the main suspect in Holloway's disappearance in Aruba in 2005, will first have to complete his 28-year prison sentence in Peru for killing a 21-year-old woman there in 2010, The Associated Press reports. What's waiting for van der Sloot in 24 years? Extradition for Alleged Extortion, Fraud Van der Sloot was indicted in federal court in Alabama on allegations that he "extorted and defrauded" the mother of Natalee Holloway -- an 18-year-old Alabama girl who went missing in Aruba and whose body has never been found. Extortion, also more commonly known as blackmail, occurs when a defendant extracts money or property from a victim by threat of violence, property damage, harm to reputation, or unfavorable government action. But in van der Sloot's case, he allegedly accepted $25,000 in cash from the Holloways, promising to lead them to their daughter's body -- just before he was arrested for murder in Peru. The Peruvian courts initially approved van der Sloot's extradition to the United States in order to face prosecution for these charges, but Peru's highest court determined that he must serve his sentence for murder first. Van der Sloot confessed to murdering Stephany Flores, 21, a Peruvian student, and was sentenced to 28 years in prison. Van der Sloot has been in custody since 2010 for Flores' murder, so with credit for time served, his 28-year sentence should be completed by 2038. Why Not Extradite Now? Extradition works based on the diplomatic and treaty relations between two nations. There are several countries which have traditionally refused to extradite criminals to the United States, but many of them generally aren't friendly with the United States. Peru isn't one of those countries, and actually has an extradition treaty with the United States. The AP reported in 2012 that Peru's Supreme Court wanted van der Sloot to serve out his sentence before facing justice in the States. Without further diplomatic pressure from U.S. officials, it appears that Joran van der Sloot won't be on trial for allegedly extorting the Holloways for another two decades. Related Resources: Peru agrees to extradite van der Sloot to U.S. ... in 26 years (CNN) Joran van der Sloot's Extradition to US Not a Done Deal (FindLaw's Blotter) Will Amanda Knox Be Extradited? Lawyers Disagree (FindLaw's Blotter) Brit Extradited Over TV Linking Website (FindLaw's Blotter)
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