Leaving a Child Alone in a Car in Florida
Within the state of Florida, it's a crime if you leave your child unsupervised or unattended in your car for a period greater than fifteen minutes or any other time duration that causes permanent disfigurement, grievous bodily harm, and permanent disability to the child.
However, it's not a crime to leave a child unsupervised in a vehicle for a period less than fifteen minutes if the child's health is in no visible danger and the car isn't running.
Florida Statute §316.6135, states that a caregiver may be charged with this crime if they leave their child who is not older than 6 years, unsupervised or unattended in a motor vehicle or car for a period exceeding fifteen minutes.
Any person who is responsible for the welfare of the child, like their legal guardians or parents are caregivers for the purposes of this law. Any motorized vehicle, which can be driven on the road, like an ATV, golf cart, RV, van, truck, or other similar vehicles fall under the definition of motor vehicles.
In addition, if the caregiver leaves the child unsupervised or unattended in a motor vehicle or car for a time period that's long enough to cause permanent disfigurement, grievous bodily harm, or permanent disability to the child, this crime may be enhanced to a Felony of the Third Degree.
Leaving a Child Alone in a Car Longer than 15 minutes
This offense is a Misdemeanor of the First Degree within the state of Florida. The court may impose any of these following penalties in any combination:
Fine not exceeding $1000
Probation period not exceeding 1 years
Imprisonment sentence not exceeding 1 years
Leaving a Child Alone in a Car Causing Great Bodily Harm, Permanent Disability, or Permanent Disfigurement
This offense is a Felony of the Third Degree within the state of Florida. The court may impose any of these following penalties in any combination:
Fine not exceeding $5000
Probation period not exceeding 5 years
Imprisonment sentence not exceeding 5 years
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If you've been charged or arrested in the Daytona Beach area, contact Larry Avallone, who is an expert Criminal Defense Lawyer in Volusia County. My initial consultation is free. I am ready to provide legal advice regarding the next steps in your case.