Legal issues. You “forgot” your mother-in-law, child or animal on the highway, what are you risking?

“The first piece of advice we can give is not to do it. But it can be useful to remember the different scenarios indeed. Every summer, the daily regional press relates situations of this type.” Reminds Master Le Dall.

You forgot your child

“Most of the time, we are talking here about an unfortunate oversight. Everyone gets back in the car after the break and after a few kilometers we realize that a child is missing. This one will have escaped the vigilance of his parents. There aren’t really any prosecutions in this type of case. Even if the driver does it intentionally to teach a lesson, which we obviously don’t recommend, there won’t be any notion of delay. The driver will probably turn around after a few minutes. This is not a retirement.”

But beware the Penal Code recalls that “The act of directly exposing others to an immediate risk, by the manifestly deliberate violation of a particular obligation of prudence or security imposed by law or regulation is punished by one year’s imprisonment. imprisonment and a fine of 15,000 euros.”

“If it is a young child deliberately abandoned on a motorway service area, we can speak of endangerment. »


Me Jean-Baptiste Le Dall/Photo Amélie Marzouk

You abandon your mother-in-law

“It also works for your father-in-law. You can’t stand this person’s remarks and criticisms anymore. After 500 kilometers, you lose your temper and decide to leave her at this motorway station. The only one has chosen that he must remember is that nothing, no text, requires you to keep your mother-in-law in your car for the rest of the journey. No law requires you to arrive at your vacation spot with your mother-in-law. ”

“But be careful, if this person is very old, or suffers from an infirmity or a serious health problem, he will be considered a vulnerable person. In this very specific case, we will speak of endangering the life of others, as recalled by article 223-1 of the Penal Code. It will however be necessary to prove the intention of abandonment” specifies Maître Le Dall.

You abandon your animal

“Holiday departures are unfortunately conducive to this kind of abandonment. Penalties have been reinforced for animals. Article 512-1 of the Penal Code specifies that you risk three years in prison and a fine of €45,000. this animal is a pet, kept in captivity or tamed. It is more severe than if you abandon your mother-in-law and for good reason. The abandoned animal will not be able to buy food or drink or organize itself for return home. Certain aggravating circumstances may be added to this abandonment and increase the sentence. If this abandonment takes place in the presence of a minor, you risk 5 years in prison and a fine of €75,000.” Added Master Le Dall.

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