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Hot Weather Crimes

Posted By Criminal Law Standard || 24-Aug-2010

    Temperatures in Dallas have soared well above the 100 degree mark.  When this occurs, temperatures in cars with closed windows can rise to lethal levels.  Persons caring for children must be mindful that high temperature can injure or even kill children, and must take necessary precautions to protect children from extreme heat.  Failure to do so may lead to criminal charges against the person responsible for the child. 

    Depending on the circumstances, criminal charges can range from relatively minor offenses such as leaving a child in a vehicle to much more serious charges such as child endangerment, or if the child dies, negligent homicide. 

    In Texas, it is a crime to leave a child younger than age seven (7) in a motor vehicle for more than five (5) minutes unless the child is attended by a person over age 14. Although the maximum sentence for leaving a child in a vehicle is a $500 fine, the consequences for leaving a child in a motor vehicle can become much more serious when a child is left in a vehicle in hot weather. 

    A person commits the offense of endangering a child, if he leaves a child younger than 15 years old in any place that may expose the child to an unreasonable risk of harm.  Leaving a child (even for a few minutes) in a locked car with the windows closed when temperatures exceed 100 degrees can be considered exposing the child to an unreasonable risk of harm.  In addition, if under such circumstances, a child dies from exposure to excessive temperatures, the person responsible for the child can be charged with homicide. 
    Every year, children die in cars because an adult locked them in the car with the windows shut on a hot day.  In many instances the person did not intend to harm the child.  Nevertheless, a child's death under such circumstances can lead to a homicide charge and conviction. 

    Dallas criminal attorney Tom D'Amore has more than 23 years experience as a criminal attorney.  He has tried literally hundreds of criminal matters including those related to capital murder, theft, robbery, driving while intoxicated, and drug possession to name a few. 

    If you have been charged with a crime, contact the D'Amore Law Firm to schedule a free case review with Dallas criminal defense attorney Tom D'Amore

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