Leaving a child alone in a car refers to someone not taking a minor with them when exiting a vehicle. Instead, the child remains in the vehicle alone. Leaving a child alone in a vehicle is one type of child endangerment law. Child endangerment laws make it a crime to endanger a minor’s life or health. In Texas, it is a crime to leave a minor unattended in a vehicle.
What Law Makes It Illegal Let a Child Stay in a Car Alone?
In Texas, the law that makes it illegal to leave a child in a car alone is called “leaving a child in a vehicle.” This law makes it illegal for anyone to knowingly or intentionally leave a child in a motor vehicle for more than five minutes.
Does It Matter How Old the Minor Is?
Yes, the age of the child does matter. The law only applies to a minor who is younger than 7 years old.
What If I Leave My Children in My Vehicle and One of the Children Is Older?
Texas law does allow an individual older than 14 years old to remain in the vehicle with a minor younger than 7 years old. Therefore, if a 16-year-old and a 4-year-old was left in a vehicle without an adult, the person may not be charged with leaving a child in a vehicle.
What the Punishment for a Conviction of Leave a Child in a Vehicle?
Leaving a child in a car is a Class C misdemeanor. If convicted, a person may be sentenced to pay a $500 fine.
Should I Discuss My Leaving a Child in a Car Charge with an Attorney?
Not only will a charge for leaving your child in a car leave you facing a fine, but you may also risk having your children taken by Child Protective Services. Discuss with a Texas attorney the possible defenses available to you to resolve your case.