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California Law: Child Abduction

According to the California Penal Code §§9.4.277-280 (2011), child abduction occurs when a person who does not have lawful child custody of a minor takes the child away from their guardian or parent. Under this law, a child is anyone under the age of 18. If a court order has been issued which stipulates who the legal guardian is, then any effort to remove the child from their custody could be labeled as child abduction. Whether by force, enticement, or manipulation, if an individual attempts to hide the child or keep them from their legal guardian, they could be put in prison for up to one year and charged a fine of up to $10,000.

The penalties could be enhanced if there were any aggravating factors included in the crime. For example, if the child was put at risk of any physical harm or the individual threatened them with physical harm, this will cause the case to be more serious. The length of time the child was taken as well as the age of the child could also be taken into account. For more information regarding this crime,please contact Martinian & Associates Inc.