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When can I leave my kids home alone?
Oregon does not have a law specifically stating the exact age when children can be left home alone. However, the child neglect statutes do offer some guidance. The Clackamas County Juvenile Department's FAQ page has more information on leaving kids home alone. You can also find more information in Washington County Law Library's legal research guide and in Oregon legal research blog posts on leaving children home alone.
2011 Oregon Revised Statutes, Chapter 163, Sections 545 and 547, "Child Neglect":
163.545 Child neglect in the second degree. (1) A person having custody or control of a child under 10 years of age commits the crime of child neglect in the second degree if, with criminal negligence, the person leaves the child unattended in or at any place for such period of time as may be likely to endanger the health or welfare of such child.
(2) Child neglect in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor. [1971 c.743 §174; 1991 c.832 §2]
163.547 Child neglect in the first degree. (1)(a) A person having custody or control of a child under 16 years of age commits the crime of child neglect in the first degree if the person knowingly leaves the child, or allows the child to stay:
(A) In a vehicle where controlled substances are being criminally delivered or manufactured;
(B) In or upon premises and in the immediate proximity where controlled substances are criminally delivered or manufactured for consideration or profit or where a chemical reaction involving one or more precursor substances:
(i) Is occurring as part of unlawfully manufacturing a controlled substance or grinding, soaking or otherwise breaking down a precursor substance for the unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance; or
(ii) Has occurred as part of unlawfully manufacturing a controlled substance or grinding, soaking or otherwise breaking down a precursor substance for the unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance and the premises have not been certified as fit for use under ORS 453.885; or
(C) In or upon premises that have been determined to be not fit for use under ORS 453.855 to 453.912.
(b) As used in this subsection, “vehicle” and “premises” do not include public places, as defined in ORS 161.015.
(2) Child neglect in the first degree is a Class B felony.
(3) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply if the controlled substance is marijuana and is delivered for no consideration.
(4) The Oregon Criminal Justice Commission shall classify child neglect in the first degree as crime category 6 of the sentencing guidelines grid of the commission if the controlled substance being delivered or manufactured is methamphetamine. [1991 c.832 §1; 2001 c.387 §1; 2001 c.870 §11; 2005 c.708 §2]
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