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Baltimore County Family Law Attorney Blog

Baltimore & Towson Lawyer Discusses The Law On Unattended Children in Maryland

Written by Amar Weisman » January 18, 2014 »

Maryland is one of the few states that has actual written rules regarding leaving children unattended in a home, car or school. Regardless of a child's maturity level, adults who leave children home alone place those children in danger, and they also subject themselves to litigation for doing so. Your Baltimore and Towson family law attorney will tell you that, under Maryland law, a child must be at least eight years of age before they should be allowed to be left alone in the home or in a motor vehicle.

Moreover, children who are under the age of eight must be left in the company of someone who is at least 13 years of age any time an adult is not present in the home. Any adult who fails to adhere to the rules might find him or herself charged with a misdemeanor offense that can lead to a fine of at least $500 and up to 30 days in jail. The Department of Social Services might also remove the child or children from the home altogether. Whether in or out of the home, guardians and parents are required and expected to provide their children with proper attention and care, and they must not be left alone in situations where they might face harm.

The Requirement to Report a Child's Death or Disappearance 

House Bill 311, which took effect on October 1, 2013, bans guardians, parents or other individuals who have permanent care and /or custody or responsibility for supervising a child under 13 years of age from "recklessly or willfully failing to notify the proper law enforcement agency that the minor is a 'missing child' within 24 hours of the time at which the parent or other individual knew or should have known that the minor is a missing child, unless the minor's disappearance was already reported to the proper agency."

According to the Bill, a "missing child" is one whose whereabouts are unknown to his or her parent or other caregiver who has permanent care and/or custody or responsibility for the minor's supervision. Your Baltimore and Towson family law attorney will tell you that individuals who fail to abide by the law can be found guilty of a misdemeanor offense and will be subject to up to three years in jail.

Moreover, the Bill calls for parents and individuals to report the death of a minor to the proper law enforcement agency or medical authority within five hours of learning of the minor's death, unless the death has already been reported to law enforcement and/or the medical authority, as required.  

Most parents and caretakers have the best of intentions when caring for young children; however, not all parents and caregivers are perfect. They might not be aware that it is unacceptable to leave a child alone at home or in a car if they are under eight years of age, even for just a few minutes. Given that fact, if you or someone you love are facing charges related to an unattended child offense, contact a Baltimore and Towson family law attorney at the Law Offices of Amar Weismann, LLC as soon as possible.

Call (410) 321-4994 For a Free Consultation 

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.