It is all too common for a parent who is frustrated with the way their custody hearings are going to take their child away. Unfortunately, this act of passion and frustrating can lead to serious criminal charges. In fact, it can be considered one of Three Strikes in the Three Strikes laws, which could mean it comes with a sentence of life in prison.
If you have been accused of kidnapping your own child, keep reading to find out the basics of potential charges. Then contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 to determine your legal rights. Talk to a criminal defense attorney to find out what your options are.
The Legal Elements of Parental Kidnapping
Parents are not always clear on what action will result in them being charged with kidnapping. There are a number of things that could result in these charges including violating a custody order or a custody agreement, leaving with the child without the consent of their other parent, detaining or concealing your child from their other parent, or refusing to take your child to the other parent after your visitation time has ended.
It may seem that because you are the legal guardian and/or biological parent of your child, you can take your child if you want to. This is not true if you are attempting to deprive the other parent of their rights or if you take your child out of the state or country without the other parent’s permission.
You Could Face a Number of Charges
The charges you face will depend on whether you are charged with abduction or kidnapping. They are similar but not the same. In most cases, kidnapping involves moving the child a long way by using force or threats, while abduction is simply taking the child.
In the state of California, a charge of parental child abduction can be either a felony or a misdemeanor. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor, you could spend a year in jail and face fines of up to $1,000. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor charge of parental child abduction, you could be facing up to four years in prison and fines of as much as $10,000.
Kidnapping is always a felony and can result in as long as eight years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. As previously stated, it can also be considered a strike in the Three Strikes laws. Additionally, your rights as a parent are likely to be significantly reduced.
Call Now if You Are Facing Parental Kidnapping Charges
This is not a situation you want to take lightly. Even if there is a common-sense reason for what you did and it is all a misunderstanding, you still need an attorney on your side. Contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 now to request a free legal consultation.