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NJ Court Will Decide if Drugs in Newborn Warrant Charge of “Neglect”

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

New Jersey’s highest court will soon pregnant mother and childdetermine whether a mother can be charged with “neglect” if her newborn baby tests positive for illegal drugs. In 2007, the New Jersey Department of Children and Families charged a mother with neglect after both she and her infant tested positive for cocaine. A lower court and appeals court upheld the charge of neglect, and the New Jersey Supreme Court heard arguments for the case on Monday. The woman’s attorney stressed that there is no proof the infant was harmed by the cocaine, and other advocates testified that there was no indication of future risk of harm. James D. Harris, the deputy attorney general representing the Department of Children and Family Services, countered that cocaine is evidence of impairment and drug use is “the red flag of risk” for an unsafe home: “Use of cocaine while you’re pregnant is completely recklessly indifferent to the harm that could happen to that child.”

Source: The Associated Press NJ Court Weighs if Drugs in Newborn Warrant Charge

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