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Orange County Bar Association

Leaving Kids Unattended Can Be a Crime Crime

Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo
Child in a car

An Orange County man was cited by the Sheriff’s Department on April 2nd for leaving his 11-month-old son in the car while he ran into a Trader Joe’s store. Police received a call at 9:43 a.m. regarding a baby left in a van. Deputies found the sleeping boy alone in the vehicle when they arrived on scene at 9:45 a.m. The father returned to his car just minutes later at 9:48 a.m. with some grocery bags in his hands. He said he did not want to wake his son, so that’s why he had left him alone in the car. Child Protective Services (CPS) was informed of the incident as well and will be conducting an investigation. Fortunately, the child was not taken into protective custody at the time and was allowed to go home with his father.

Another case was recently reported of a woman who left her 4-year-old watching a movie unattended in a Range Rover at The Shops at Mission Viejo while she went into the mall. Parents should be careful of leaving their children unattended as they can be charged with child endangerment under California Penal Code Sections 273a (a) or 273a (b). This crime occurs when an individual places a child in a dangerous situation or allows a child to be placed in a dangerous situation without taking steps to protect the child. Because a child left alone in the car could die from heat or be abducted by passerby, it could be considered a “dangerous situation” to leave the child alone in a car.

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“I was pulled over for not having license plates on my car. The reason for that was because it was new. When the Officer pulled me over, he claims to have smelled marijuana and he began to ask me questions. I admitted to smoking marijuana earlier in the...


“I was arrested and charged with Penal Code Section 273.5(a) [Domestic Violence with Traumatic Injury]. Unfortunately, some of my actions were caught on video. In addition, an infant was present during the incident. My family hired Attorney Will Bruzzo to...


“I was charged with two counts of Vehicle Code 23109.1 [Engaging in a Speed Contest Causing Specified Injury] as a felony; two counts of Vehicle Code 23105(a) [Reckless Driving Causing Specified Injury], one count of Penal Code Section 368(b)(1) [Elder and...


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