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Baltimore & Towson Lawyer Discusses Leaving Children Unattended In Automobiles

Written by Amar Weisman » August 20, 2014 »

Anyone who has read a newspaper or watched the news on TV has undoubtedly heard of the many horror stories regarding children being left in hot automobiles. Each year during the summer season, heart-wrenching (and preventable) deaths take place when kids are left by themselves in cars. Still, as your Baltimore and Towson family law attorney knows, some parents and caregivers are leaving children alone in vehicles for a variety of reasons. A recent news story has once again highlighted the seriousness of the issue.

According to the news report, a Rockville mother, who went on a shopping spree at a local mall, left her puppy and 7-year-old son in an extremely hot motor vehicle in the middle of the day. Apparently, the outside temperature at the time was about 90 degrees. A passerby observed the dog and the child in the vehicle and called the authorities. The law enforcement officers who responded to the scene removed the child from the vehicle and took him to their squad car, where the child was interviewed and provided bottled water. The young boy informed the officers that his mom had not left water for him, but did leave some for the dog, and he further noted that his mother leaves him in automobiles for long periods of time on a regular basis.

When found, the child was quite sweaty and sitting in direct sunlight and the dog was "acting lethargic" and showed signs of heat exhaustion. After finally locating the mother, she advised the police that "she came into the mall real quick;" however, she had been shopping for a period of at least 90 minutes. The 30-year-old mother is currently facing three charges: second-degree attempted child abuse, neglect of a minor and reckless endangerment. If found guilty on all three charges, the mother can be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison.

What is the Law Regarding Unattended Children?

Your Baltimore and Towson family law attorney will tell you that in the state of Maryland, it is unlawful to leave any child who is under eight years of age unattended in a home, school or car. If the person who is responsible for the child needs to leave a child under the age of eight, he or she must make certain that there is someone who is reliable and at least 13 years of age available to watch and protect the child. Failure to do so can result in the caregiver or parent being charged with a misdemeanor offense that can subject him or her to a fine and up to 30 days of prison time.

The Dangers of Leaving Children in Hot Cars

Doctors have spoken out on this issue throughout the years, noting that it is NEVER acceptable to leave a child alone in a hot car, even if it is only for a few brief moments. This is crucial for parents and caregivers to understand because vehicles can act like greenhouses in which temperatures can rise quickly and get extremely hot, and a few minutes in such dangerous heat can be fatal for a small child. For instance, heat strokes can happen whenever the temperature of the body passes 104 degrees.

If you have questions about the laws governing unattended children in Bowleys Quarters & Maryland, contact a Baltimore and Towson family law attorney at the Law Offices of Amar Weisman, LLC right away for more information.

Call (410) 321-4994 For a Free Consultation With a Baltimore County Custody Lawyer. 

Call The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman at (410) 321-4994 to schedule a Free ConsultationThe Purpose of the consultation is to determine whether you want to retain this law firm as your Baltimore County & Harford County Family Lawyer. If you do wish to proceed, then you must pay a retainer. See Our Policy on Fees and Costs. The family firm is located next to The Circuit Court for Baltimore County, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204.