Criminal Defense Attorney in Sacramento

In the fall of 2001, Kaitlyn’s Law was passed in the state of California that makes it illegal to leave a child unattended in a motorized vehicle. The law originates after Kaitlyn Russell died after being left alone in a car for two hours. If a parent, legal guardian or any one who is over 12 years older and responsible for the supervision of someone under 6 years old could be found in violation under certain circumstances. If there are conditions that present significant risk to a child’s health or safety such as a set outdoor temperature that becomes it unsafe inside.

Cars heat up very quickly and even opening windows or parking in the shade, can’t guarantee the temperature inside is safe enough to leave children unattended. This is important because heat stroke begin when the body passes 104 degrees internally and becomes deadly at 107 degrees. Furthermore, the body temperatures of children can increase 3 to 5 times faster than the average adult, making it even more dangerous for children. Another condition that can be in violation is when the vehicles engine is running or the vehicle’s keys are in ignition.

Between 1996 and 2002, more than 175 children have died of hyperthermia from being trapped in a car and that number increases tremendously. Children age 3 and under accounted for more than 90% of these deaths and although most cases involved children left in cars by parents or other adults, 1/3 were the result of children crawling into unlocked parked cars. Dangers to children go beyond hyperthermia.

Children who are left in motorized vehicles for too long can experience carbon monoxide poisoning, runaway vehicles, carjacking, child abduction, trunk entrapment and emotional trauma. When an unattended child is injured or medical services are rendered on that child, the penalty is more severe. Anyone who knowingly or intentionally engages in conduct that places the health of a child in serious risk, the defendant could be arrested and found guilty of child endangerment in the state of California who could face one year in county jail if filed as a misdemeanor, or two, four or six years in state prison, if filed as a felony.

Child endangerment is a serious criminal offense and if you have have been charged with child endangerment crime, contact criminal defense attorney in Sacramento at the Law Offices of Richard Dudek today.


The Law Offices of Richard Dudek offers comprehensive criminal defense from the beginning of your case through the final appeal. Let our defense attorney in Sacramento defend your rights. Contact us online or by telephone at (916) 444-7595 to arrange a personal consultation with Richard Dudek today.

901 H Street, Suite 310
Sacramento, CA 95814 US
Phone: (916) 444-7595

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