What is my liability if my daughter’s babysitter wasn’t paying attention and she got out of the house and the police found her?

UPDATED: Mar 24, 2013

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What is my liability if my daughter’s babysitter wasn’t paying attention and she got out of the house and the police found her?

When I got home and realized she was gone’ I went searching and the police found me. They are charging the sitter with neglect of a dependant because the child’s diaper was soaked and she had chocolate on her face, in addition to getting out of the house. I was only gone a half hour and did not change the child or clean her before leaving. Can I be charged with neglect for this?

Asked on March 24, 2013 under Criminal Law, Indiana


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Clearly your babysitter was negligent, hence the charges against her. Your liability if any, will not stem from the dirty diaper or unwashed face (you likely assumed that the sitter would handle this after you had to run out). Rather, your responsibility will result if it can be shown that you picked a babysitter who you knew or should have known was for some reason irresponsible and untrustworthy. For example if they were too young to watch a small child or were a substance abuser, etc. At this point, you really should consult directly with a criminal law attorney in your area.

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