Has law enforcement charged you with parental kidnapping?

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2021 | Criminal Defense

State and federal laws define parental abduction as a non-custodial parent’s refusal to return a child after a lawful visit. Parental kidnapping is illegal in every state, and the abductor is usually prosecuted in state court. However, if a child abduction case involves transporting the child across state lines or outside of the United States, a federal charge for kidnapping may be pursued.

The consequences of a federal charge of abduction can lead to imprisonment, as well as a criminal record. Knowledge of state and federal laws may help you to safeguard your rights and freedom.

California Penal Code 278

Under California Penal Code 278, child abduction includes:

  • Taking or concealing the child
  • Kidnapping a child for any length of time
  • Acting with the intent to prevent the other parent’s custodial rights

The International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act 1993

The International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act 1993 is a federal law that prohibits a parent’s removal of a child from the United States for the purpose of obstructing the other parent’s custodial rights.

International parental kidnapping can result in long-term psychological consequences for a child who has endured:

  • Abrupt removal from community and family
  • Inadequate schooling
  • Moving to different locations to remain inaccessible
  • Alteration of name and appearance to hide identity

Child custody disputes are often traumatic experiences and can trigger irrational decisions, including the abduction of a child by a parent. Learn how California and federal laws can help you to preserve your custody rights and your child’s well-being.

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