The "Get Out Of Your Car!" Fund

Thursday, June 4, 2015

I can legally sleep in my car

June 3, 2015
I finally got the question answered that I’ve been wondering about. I teach Engish in the evenings, and tonight an attorney, a public defender, as a guest to the class. He mentioned that if you have been drinking and you fall asleep in your car, you should not leave the keys in the ignition. I told him after class that I have a friend who is staying in his car to pay off debt and he heard that it is illegal to sleep in your car. He said confidently several times absolutely not. He said if your car is parked legally you can sleep in it in the state of Maryland. He actually didn’t seem surprised that someone would sleep in his or her car to pay off debt.
I wasn’t very concerned about being arrested anyway. It just makes me nervous to run into cops period. I don’t want to get in any trouble. My plan all along was just to explain to cops why I’m sleeping in my car. They will probably suggest some reousrces, such as homeless shelters. If I get caught on hospital property, I’m sure I will have to leave and never return. However, publics streets are open game.

June 13, 2015
update: I went to a community forum this week and spoke to a public official who is an expert on local parking issues. He laughed when I asked if it was a problem for someone to sleep in their car to get out of debt. Like the attorney, he said as long as the car is parked legally, sleeping in it overnight is not illegal.

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