Transcript for Mother Charged with Misdemeanor for Leaving Son in Car
We're going to go to one mom's quick decision and lasting regrets. She left her son in the car for a few minutes. The boy turned out to be fine. But she's still shaken by what happened next. Reporter: It was a split-second decision in a parking lot that Kim brooks says changed her life forever. While runnining errands her 4-year-old son said what many children might say, he didn't want to get out of the car. He is playing with his iPad. He decides, I don't want to come in. Reporter: It was a mild day. Just 50 degrees. So, brooks says she left him in the car. Just five minutes. I knew the best thing to do would be to force him in. But I was in a hurry and stressed. And I made this quick decision. Okay, I just need one thing. Reporter: It turns out, while brooks was inside, someone recorded video of her son in the car by himself. And turned it over to the cops. When eventually tracked her down. And while her son wasn't hurt, police charged her with a misdemeanor charge for contributing to delinquency of a minor. She faced up to a year in jail. What was going through your mind? It was frightening. Reporter: But brooks was fearing what mothers might think. And only recently did she reveal her ordeal on salon.com. I worried that wrong or right, what I had done would seem abhorrent to anyone I told. The mommy confession went viral. And brooks was flooded with thousands of comments. Some critical. Leaving your 4-year-old child unattended in a public place is a negligent act, writing one person. But others could relate. She did nothing wrong. It's the system that's out of control, not the parent. I love my kids, more than anything in the world. Reporter: After doing community service hours, the misdemeanor charge against brooks was dropped. But she still fears the court of public opinion. For "Good morning America," Alex Perez, ABC news, Chicago. We're joined by Dr. Robyn Silverman. What do you think? I really feel for this woman. Let me say that. We've all been in a situation where we've made mistakes. But they're not caught on tape P. That being said, we live in a society where people have cameras on our phone. We can debate whether we were left in the car when we were letting and we're fine. The truth of the matter is, it's the law -- we can't leave our child in the car if they're under 6 years old. And we did it. Then, you broke the law. And it was caught on tape. So, we got into some trouble. And referencing the legal issue here, do you agree with what prosecutors did in this case? Once they had the evidence. And she's not denying she did it, they had to move forward. Because there's no way to distinguish this from other cases, where in this case, she was just running in for a few minutes. In this case, it was 12 minutes. You have to draw a line. And I would also say, the fact she just got a slap on the wrist is also the right thing to do. Exactly. Prosecutors did the right thing, I think, by moving forward. And they were also right to say, we just want this to go away. She does community service. Even in the article, she talked about how meaningful she found the community service to be. It shows the parent, when they're in that stressful situation, you have to take yourself out of the moment. I have a 4-year-old and a 5-year-old. And I get it. We need the parents to know, number one, when you're in that situation, you need to be able to say to your child, look, I know you're not going to like this. But it's not a choice. You have to come with me. And number two, ask for help when you need it. There's been times I left the doctor's office and gone to the pharmacy and called them up, I am in your parking lot, I have a sick child in the backseat. Can you meet me at the front door. I can't leave my car. Mommy doesn't want to get arrested. It's a good message and a good warning, who in the heat of the moment, might make the wrong call. This is not a bad parent. We've all been there. But we have to make the right choice.
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