Question

How can I be charged with child abduction in California if I am the parent?

Ron Cordova - Criminal Defense - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Ron Cordova

Ron Cordova Attorney at Law
Irvine, CA
Phone: 949-748-3600
Fax: 949-748-3888

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Answer

If you have interfered with the custodial right of the other parent, you can be charged with child abduction. This is a serious charge: The California Penal Code provides in Section 278.5 that if you deprive a lawful parent of custody or visitation of the child, you can face up to one year in county jail or up to three years imprisonment. 

You could also be charged with a federal offense if you take the child out of California. If you do this and deprive the other parent of his or her right to custody and/or visitation, you may face federal charges that are often tougher than state charges. If you take the child, but the child remains in the state, you can be charged with a state misdemeanor or felony. There are special rules that apply to taking a child out of California on a plane or a ship on the ocean as well. In these instances, you would do well to consult with an attorney who knows about international custody rules and federal criminal statutes.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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