Over 20 years ago, my client was separated from her husband and caring for three minor children alone. One night, she left the children at home thinking that they were asleep and went out to run errands. One child woke up, contacted a neighbor, who contacted the police. My client was arrested for felony child neglect. She bonded out, but did not hire a lawyer.
Shortly thereafter, she moved out of state and eventually reunited with her husband. Meanwhile, in Pinellas County, a formal charge of child neglect was filed against her. She did not appear for court, and an additional felony charge for failure to appear was also filed. Therefore, there were two felony warrants for her arrest.
Over the years, my client moved again to another state. She raised the children and they all turned out well. They loved their mother and had no idea about the charges.
My client eventually went to work for an insurance company, but could not get her insurance license because she could not pass a background check. She decided that it was time to hire a criminal defense attorney and resolve the old warrants. She could not take these old problems hanging over her head any more.
I had my client provide the prosecutor her reasons for leaving the state and not showing up for court. I also explained her current job situation. I had each of the children and her husband write letters describing what a good mother/wife that she was. By all accounts, the time in her life when the crime was committed was simply a tough time when she was overwhelmed with raising the children and going through marital problems. She had not been in trouble since, had a good job and a stable life.
After submitting all of the mitigating evidence, the state agreed to dismiss the charges if she paid off some outstanding court costs. The total amount was about $350. She happily paid the money and both felony charges were dismissed. My client was beyond grateful to have resolved this old case and to be able to move forward with her life and career. This was truly a wonderful result that I was proud to help deliver.