Wagoner Lawyer Blog Am I Civilly Liable in Wagoner if I Break Into a Vehicle to Protect a Child?

break into a vehicleThe temperature soars during a typical Oklahoma summer, and the temperature in a car can rise more quickly than we know. A hot car can be a death trap for a child.

Sometimes, a parent leaves the child inside while he or she runs into a store for a quick errand, not knowing that the car may heat up to dangerous levels before they return. Sometimes, a child can get trapped inside a car while playing.

In either case, minutes matter. And sometimes, to break into a vehicle is the only viable option to save a child in Wagoner.

Prohibition Against Leaving a Child in a Vehicle

In Oklahoma, it is against the law to leave a child under the age of six or a vulnerable adult unattended. You may not leave either beyond your direct ability to care for or come to their aid. Okla. Stat. tit. 47 § 11-1119

Leaving a child unattended in a car is a misdemeanor in Wagoner. Despite this, people continue to leave children in cars.

New Good Samaritan Laws in Oklahoma

In 2015, the Oklahoma legislature took steps to protect children in hot cars and the people who break into a vehicle to help them. HB 1902, now Okla. Stat. tit. 47 § 11-1120, was passed to protect a person from civil liability for using force to break into a vehicle to protect a child.

In order for the immunity to apply, the force used must be only that needed to enter a car that was otherwise locked. In addition, the person using force to break into a vehicle must have a good faith belief that the child is in imminent danger if not immediately removed from the car.

The person must also have contacted emergency services before trying to enter the car and must remain reasonably close to the vehicle until emergency services arrive.

Finally, the person must place a notice on the car that notifies the owner of the person’s contact information, the reason the entry was made, the location of the child, and that the authorities have been notified.

If these conditions have been met, you should be protected from any civil liability.

Free Consultation: Wagoner Personal Injury Attorney

To find out more about your potential civil liability in Oklahoma, contact the Wagoner attorney at Wirth Law Office – Wagoner today.

For a free, no-obligation consultation, call 918-485-0335 or send your question using the email form on this page.

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