Baltimore, MD asked in Criminal Law and Juvenile Law for Virginia

Q: Can I be charged with any crime for leaving my 10 yr old alone for less than an hour ?

I let my 10 yr old stay alone in my hotel room for less than an hour.He left the room for a soda and locked himself out. He called me on his cell to let me know and I began heading back to him. He decided to ask the hotel lobby for a key and they called the police. Va does not have a minimum age law for a child to be alone. I was told I would hear from their prosecutor and "they won't let this case slide".

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1 Lawyer Answer
Derek Allen Colvin
Derek Allen Colvin
  • Virginia Beach, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: There is likely probable cause to charge you under Virginia Code Section 18.2-371 for rendering the child in need of supervision. There may be additional charges. It sounds like the charging decision is left to the discretion of the prosecutor in that jurisdiction. If charged, you should retain counsel to review the facts and circumstances.

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