I 100% percent agree with my colleagues - see to it that your daughter immediately consults a local criminal law attorney
This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney . Be aware that every state has its own statute of limitations; and statutes & case laws that govern the handling of these matters.
Attorney Lassen is correct. While this is a good source for some general information, your daughter needs to immediately consult with an attorney that handles criminal cases. New York passed a law in 2012 that made it a crime to leave a child under 8 alone in a car. The penalties for a child who is not hurt do not appear to be extensive for a first offense--it may just be a fine--but I assume the penalty is greater if the child is injured. Your daughter needs to seek legal advice immediately.
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I have represented people in similar situations. The important question in those cases was whether or not the situation presented a significant likelihood of harm to the child. You need a good criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Under certain circumstances, CPS can get involved and seek to remove the child from the mother's custody. This is a serious matter. I am a former prosecutor, and have been handling criminal matters like this for 16 years. You can reach me via my website at castrotrodden.com or call my office 24 hours a day at 631-382-7979.
She will most likely be charged with the A misdemeanor of endangering the welfare of a child. She should obtain criminal law counsel.
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You need to repost this in the criminal forum. Find her a good lawyer.
Mr. Pascale is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and time-lines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Pascale strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to insure proper advice is received.