Leaving a Child Unattended or Unsupervised in a Motor Vehicle


SHORSTEIN, LASNETSKI, & GIHON
helps people defend against
Leaving a Child Unattended or Unsupervised in a Motor Vehicle

allegations.

Most people don't know that there is a specific statute related to leaving a child in a car.  With stories every year of child deaths in the State of Florida from children being left in cars while a parent goes into a store for what they intended to be a very brief time, the legislature has enacted a specific statute dealing with this issue. 
What is Leaving a Child Unattended or Unsupervised in a Motor Vehicle?

Leaving a Child Unattended or Unsupervised in a Motor Vehicle is defined in Florida Statute Section 316.6135.  In order to prove that you are guilty of Leaving a Child Unattended or Unsupervised in a Motor Vehicle, the State must prove:
  • You were:
    • a parent of, or
    • a legal guardian for, or
    • a person responsible for,
the child, and
  • The child was younger than 6 years of age, and
  • You left the child unattended or unsupervised in a motor vehicle,
  • for a period in excess of 15 minutes, or
  • for any period of time if
    • the motor of the vehicle was running,
    • the health of the child was in danger, or
    • the child appeared to be in distress, and
  • in so doing, you caused
    • great bodily harm, or
    • a permanent disability, or
    • permanent disfigurement,

to the child.


What is considered a "motor vehicle?"


A "motor vehicle" is defined as a self-propelled vehicle not operated upon rails or guideway.
Includes
motorcycle
 
Does not include
bicycle
motorized scooter
electric personal assistive mobility device
swamp buggy
moped 
What are the potential sentences for Leaving a Child unattended or Unsupervised in a Motor Vehicle?

Leaving child for more than 15 minutes
Up to 60 days in jail

Leaving child while motor running, health of child is in danger,
or child appears to be in distress
Noncriminal traffic infraction
$50-$500 Fine

Child suffers great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement
Up to 5 years in prison

* A law enforcement officer is authorized to use whatever means reasonably necessary to protect the child and remove the child from the vehicle.  The child shall be remanded to DCF custody if the officer cannot locate a parent, legal guardian, or person responsible for the child.

What are the possible defenses to Leaving a Child Unattended or Unsupervised in a Motor vehicle?

The common defenses to Leaving a Child Unattended or Unsupervised in a Motor Vehicle are that the child was not left for more than 15 minutes, that the child was not in distress, or that the child was not unsupervised or unattended.  Call us to discuss the specific facts of your case and what defenses may be available.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for or accused of
Leaving a Child Unattended or Unsupervised in a Motor Vehicle,

Call Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon Now!

904-642-3332 (Jacksonville)
or
407-228-2019
(Orlando). 

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