Driving and vehicle offenses

Leaving Child Unattended in a Vehicle

The lawyers at Ashbach Law Offices, LLC provide aggressive, strong defense for those charged with Leaving a Child Unattended allegations throughout Skagit, Snohomish, King and Whatcom Counties. Our goal is to aggressively protect you, your family and your interests from the prosecution, saving jail time, licenses, occupations and reputations. With offices in Marysville and Mill Creek, Washington, we are available to meet you discuss your case. We help good people in bad situations. Let us help you.

In General


Washington State (along with many cities) has made it a crime to leave a child unattended in both a parked vehicle and a vehicle with motor running. However, each crime under state law specifies the age under which the child must be (which can differ), and the crimes are punishable at different levels. Some laws are directed particularly at bars, casinos and shopping malls. An additional concern for a person charged is CPS, which often investigates these allegations.

City Issues


In addition to state charges, many cities have enacted their own municipal code provisions for similar offenses. For example, in Snohomish County, the City of Lynnwood, Washington, and City of Lake Stevens, Washington, have each criminalized offenses for leaving children unattended in circumstances that are not encompassed by the state statutes. Seattle Municipal Code 11.58.190 and Mount Vernon Municipal Code 9.06.010 are other examples.

Sample Result - Leaving a Child Unattended under municipal code - Dismissed

We provide aggressive, thorough defense on all our cases. Call us at 360-659-4950 or 888-WA-LAW-NW for a free, individualized case assessment.

State Law for Parked Vehicles


RCW 9.91.060 handles leaving children unattended in parked automobiles, which is a Gross Misdemeanor. That statute states: "Every person having the care and custody, whether temporary or permanent, of minor children under the age of twelve years, who shall leave such children in a parked automobile unattended by an adult while such person enters a tavern or other premises where vinous, spirituous, or malt liquors are dispensed for consumption on the premises shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor."

Sample Result - Leaving a Child Unattended under state law - Dismissed

Serious allegations require serious defense. Call Ashbach Law Offices, LLC, at 360-659-4950 or 888-WA-LAW-NW today for a free, personalized case evaluation. We give each case the individual attention and concern it deserves.

State Law for Vehicles with Motor Running


RCW 46.61.685 handles Leaving Children Unattended in a standing vehicle with the motor running, which is a simple misdemeanor. If a person is convicted of this more than once, each subsequent conviction, starting at the second, results in revocation of the person’s driver's license (365 day invalidation).

The statute states: "It is unlawful for any person, while operating or in charge of a vehicle, to park or willfully allow such vehicle to stand upon a public highway or in a public place with its motor running, leaving a minor child or children under the age of sixteen years unattended in the vehicle."

Ashbach Law Offices, LLC, aggressively represents clients charged with Leaving Child Unattended in Vehicle offenses throughout the Washington I-5 corridor, covering Skagit, Snohomish, King and Whatcom Counties. Regular courts of practice include, but are not limited to, Anacortes, Arlington, Bellevue, Bellingham, Blaine, Burlington, Edmonds, Everett, Issaquah, Lynnwood, Marysville, Monroe, Mount Vernon, Mountlake Terrance, Redmond, Seattle, Sedro Woolley and Shoreline.