NJ Law: Leaving a Child Alone in a Car is “Reckless”

Essex County Reckless Endangerment ChargesRaritan NJ police recently arrested a Bloomfield NJ woman who allegedly left her child unattended in a minivan.

Police received a report of an unattended child in a vehicle parked outside a commercial building on Route 202. When officers arrived at the scene, they found a child who had been left alone in a minivan.

Officers eventually located the mother. According to police, she said that she left the child “unattended in the vehicle for just over a minute while she ran into her place of employment to drop something off.” However, an affidavit filed at the Somerville Superior Court claims that witnesses at the scene called police after seeing the child “in the car unattended for at least 20 minutes.”

The mother in this case could be subject to significant penalties if she is convicted of endangering the welfare of a child.

Beyond that, NJ law specifically criminalizes the act of leaving a child unattended in a car. N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.21(c)(4)(b) requires a parent to exercise the minimum degree of care over their child at all times. Moreover, a New Jersey appellate court found in State of New Jersey  v. E.D.O. that the “act of leaving a child alone in a motor vehicle with its engine running, to enter premises 150 feet away, is a reckless act.” The court also noted that “A parent invites substantial peril when leaving a child of such tender years alone in a motor vehicle that is out of the parent’s sight, no matter how briefly.”

It is clear the New Jersey lawmakers and judges consider actions like this to be criminally negligent . However, it still remains to be seen if the mother’s actions in this case will translate into criminal charges.

For more information on this story, see “Bloomfield woman charged with endangerment for leaving 1-year-old girl alone in minivan.”

Newark NJ Drug Distribution Arrest
NJ Authorities Concerned about Human Trafficking during Super Bowl XLVIII
Client Reviews
testimonials reviews
  • "Travis Tormey is the only lawyer I seek out to handle my legal affairs. Over the last four years, I have used Mr. Tormey’s services on numerous occasions to my great benefit. He promptly returns my messages, takes the time..."

  • "Travis Tormey is a superb attorney. He is skilled and knowledgeable. He handled my case with respect, kindness and quiet assurance. I would trust him with all future legal needs. He has many contacts in the legal profession..."

  • "Mr. Tormey is a consummate professional. Our case was sensitive and complicated and unusually lengthy for a juvenile case. For 8 months Mr. Tormey faithfully worked our case and never failed to show for court once. Punctual, disciplined..."

  • "Travis Tormey is an outstanding attorney. He helped me tremendously, more so than I ever could have imagined. He handled all aspects of my case with compassion, respect, and immense competence. He is a skilled and knowledge..."

  • "I was extremely nervous and anticipating the worst situation possible for my cases. Travis was a very reliable lawyer and everyone at his firm was extremely helpful. Travis went above and beyond inside and outside of the court room for me! ..."

Our Offices

Hackensack Law Office

254 State Street Hackensack, NJ 07601

Get Directions Hackensack Law Office

Newark Law Office

1 Gateway Center, Suite 2600 Newark, NJ 07102

Get Directions Newark Law Office