Leaving a Child in a Vehicle graphic with Texas flag

Leaving a Child in a Vehicle

The Leaving a Child in a Vehicle crime in the state of Texas gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you left a child younger than 7 years old alone in a vehicle for more than five minutes that was not attended by someone who was 14 years old or older. Learn more detailed information about the Leaving a Child in a Vehicle offense below.

The child does not have to be harmed or put in any type of danger. If the child is harmed (or placed in serious danger of harm), then you could be charged with Injury to a Child or Abandoning or Endangering a Child.

Have you been charged with Leaving a Child in a Vehicle? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305 to discuss legal representation.

Leaving a Child in a Vehicle is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 5 “Offenses Against The Person”, Chapter 22 “Assaultive Offenses.”

What is the current Texas law about Leaving a Child in a Vehicle?

The current Texas law is as follows:1

(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly leaves a child in a motor vehicle for longer than five minutes, knowing that the child is:

(1) younger than seven years of age; and

(2) not attended by an individual in the vehicle who is 14 years of age or older.

How can I be charged with Leaving a Child in a Vehicle?

You can be charged with Leaving a Child in a Vehicle if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 22.10(a) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the punishment for Leaving a Child in a Vehicle?

A conviction for Leaving a Child in a Vehicle is punished as a Class C misdemeanor,2 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $500. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors


Legal References:

1 Texas Penal Code §22.10.

2 Texas Penal Code §22.10(b)

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