Parents have a special legal duty to protect their children from harm. When authorities believe that a parent fails to do this, he or she could face serious criminal charges which could result in spending time behind bars. One woman in Ohio is now facing felony charges for child endangerment, which is not the first time she has faced such allegations.

The woman was charged with a felony after authorities found her 3-year-old son walking by himself on the street. This was the second time the woman has been accused of criminal child endangerment. In 2011, she pleaded no contest to child endangerment and was subsequently convicted. Due to her previous conviction, the woman will now be charged with a fourth-degree felony.

The incident occurred when two residents saw the young boy walking eastbound along the street with a dog. The child then walked inside a convenience store and walked back out. Then, the two residents stopped the boy and questioned him. He did not know his address and only knew his mother’s first name when the authorities questioned him.

While the authorities were talking to the boy, the mother called 911 to report her son missing. The mother claims that she took a nap with her infant child for only 30 minutes and when she awoke, she discovered that her son was missing. If convicted of the felony charges, the Ohio woman could face up to 18 months in jail. However, community members should avoid rushing to judgment in this situation. Every person who is accused of a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Source: The News-Messenger, “Mom charged after boy, 3, walks to Circle K alone,” Chike Erokwu, Dec. 6, 2012