Leaving Children Unsupervised in a Vehicle

Florida Statute Section 316.6135 states that a parent, legal guardian, or another person responsible for a child younger than six (6) years of age must not leave the child unattended or unsupervised in a motor vehicle for any period of time if either:

  • the vehicle is running;
  • the child's health is in danger; or
  • the child appears to be in distress.

A violation is a civil infraction, punishable by a fine of up to $500. The public policy behind this law recognizes that it is extremely dangerous to leave a child unsupervised in a vehicle.

If the child is left unsupervised in the vehicle for a period in excess of fifteen (15) minutes, then the offense can be charged as a second-degree misdemeanor with a penalty of up to six (6) months in jail and a fine of $500.

Any violation of this statute that causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to a child can be charged as a third-degree felony.

Attorney for Leaving a Child in a Vehicle in Florida

If you receive a civil or criminal citation for a violation of Florida Statute Section 316.6135 after leaving a child under the age of 6 unattended in a vehicle, then contact an attorney at Meltzer & Bell, P.A..

From our office in Fort Lauderdale, we represent clients in Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, FL, in Deerfield Beach, and throughout the State of Florida. 

From our office in West Palm Beach, FL, we represent clients in Palm Beach County, in Belle Glade, in Delray Beach and other areas throughout the State.

Our attorneys also represent clients in Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie in St. Lucie County, Hobe Sound and the Village of Indiantown in Martin County, and in Coral Gables, Hialeah, Miami Beach and Miami in Miami-Dade County, FL.

Call (561) 500-5000 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.


This article was last updated on Friday, March 23, 2018.

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Meltzer & Bell, P.A.
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West Palm Beach, FL 33401
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