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RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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I left my child in the car alone few minutes.The police came

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I left my child in the car alone for a few minutes.The police came by and spoke with me.What is the maximum penalty for doing this in West Virginia?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I look forward to assisting you.

West Virginia is one of a handful of states that doesn't have a specific law against leaving a child in a vehicle unattended. However, it could be seen as child neglect, which is found under Section 61-8D-4. More specifically, subsection (d)(1) states:

(d)(1) If a parent, guardian or custodian who has not been previously convicted under this section, section three of this article or a law of another state or the federal government with the same essential elements neglects a child and by that neglect creates a substantial risk of bodily injury, as defined in section one, article eight-b of this chapter, to the child, then the parent, guardian or custodian, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, for a first offense, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 or confined in jail not more than six months, or both fined and confined.

Neglect is defined under the law as "the unreasonable failure by a parent, guardian or custodian of a minor child to exercise a minimum degree of care to assure the minor child's physical safety or health."

So, it is possible to be fined and or jailed for this, though for a first offense, especially since the child wasn't harmed in any manner, I would think probation and a fine would be much more likely. And, if the police didn't arrest you or issue you a citation for a court appearance, I think the matter is considered close at this point, and that if they were going to take action, they would have at the time they spoke with you.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 9 months ago.

If you have further questions or need clarification about this matter, please reply, and I'll be happy to assist you. Otherwise, kindly remember to leave me a positive rating (3-5 stars) as that is the only way experts on this site are paid for our time and expertise, even if you have previously left a deposit. Thank you.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 8 months ago.

If you need clarification or additional information, please reply, and I'll be happy to assist you. Otherwise, kindly remember to leave me a positive rating (3-5 stars) as that is the only way experts on this site are compensated for our time and expertise, even if you have previously left a deposit. Thank you.

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