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Leaving Your Child in the Car; What’s the Law in Maryland?

Leaving Your Child in the Car; What is the Law in Maryland?

As you may have seen in recent news; “Woman Charged with Leaving Child Unattended in Car at Maryland Live! Casino” has spurred me to write an article on the current law in Maryland regarding this issue.

Contact the office if you’ve been charged with a crime in Maryland, you can call the office at (410) 288-2900 or email us for immediate legal help.

Maryland Family Law §5-801 defines the crime of “Confinement in dwelling, building, enclosure, or motor vehicle” and states, “A person who is charged with the care of a child under the age of 8 years may not allow the child to be locked or confined in a dwelling, building, enclosure, or motor vehicle while the person charged is absent and the dwelling, building, enclosure, or motor vehicle is out of the sight of the person charged unless the person charged provides a reliable person at least 13 years old to remain with the child to protect the child.

A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $ 500 or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days, or both.

This means that if you plan on leaving your car or home with a child under 8 years old inside, you must be in sight of the vehicle or home or leave the child under 8 with another individual that is at least 13 years old.  We always advise our clients to play it safe and not leave your child unattended for any period of time.  The Judges and State’s Attorneys in Maryland are tough on these types of crimes, so it is always safe to take your child with you at all times.

If you’ve been charged with a crime, contact our office to schedule a free consultation and discuss your options and best course of action.  Call the office at (410) 288-2900.

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