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Child Abduction Laws

What is child abduction

Child abduction or child theft is a removal of a minor (a child under the age of 18) from the custody of the child’s legal guardian. Parental child abduction is where a family member usually parents take the child away from the legal guardian without parental agreement. Abduction or kidnapping is normally by strangers from outside of the family. Read below the top five child abduction questions answered by Experts.

In California is it true that child abduction isn’t abduction unless the parent is ordered to return the child to the home state and doesn’t?

In some cases this is true, if they are charged under either 278 or 278.5 of the California Penal Code. Section 278.5 states: 278.5 (a) Every person who takes, entices away, keeps, withholds, or conceals a child maliciously deprives a lawful custodian of a right to custody, or a person of a right to visitation, shall be punished or imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, or both that fine and imprisonment, or by imprisonment in the state prison for 16 months, or two or three years, a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or both that fine and imprisonment. Section 278.7 (a) 278.5 does not apply to a person with a right to custody of a child who, with a good faith and reasonable belief that the child, if left with the other person, will suffer immediate bodily injury or emotional harm, takes, entices away, keeps, withholds, or conceals that child.

(b) Section 278.5 does not apply to a person with a right to custody of a child who has been a victim of domestic violence who, with a good faith and reasonable belief that the child, if left with the other person, will suffer immediate bodily injury or emotional harm, takes, entices away, keeps, withholds, or conceals that child. “Emotional harm” includes having a parent who has committed domestic violence against the parent who is taking, enticing away, keeping, withholding, or concealing the child.

If a parent takes a child out of the jurisdiction after a restraining order states not to, can the other parent have them processed with child abduction?

In many cases the answer is yes. If the ex-spouse refuses to return the child, they may seek relief under the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act. Contact the local law enforcement and request that they help return the child. If they refuse, insist that they enforce the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act Statue. If the police fail to take action then contact County Level Sherriff and/ or local attorney. Don’t delay because then the jurisdiction may be lost along the way from one state to the other. Both states should then assist each other in returning the child. For more information on child abduction talk to a Legal Expert to get all your child abduction questions answered.

In New York what are the laws on kidnapping?

There are a few different types of kidnapping laws in the state of New York. They can range from a temporary false imprisonment to a Class A Felony of First Degree kidnapping. There is no statute of limitations for kidnapping in the first degree as the penalty is life imprisonment. Many states differ when it comes to child abduction laws. Contact the legal Experts to find your local laws on child abductions.

What can a parent do to prevent child abduction?

Trying to safeguard your child is most important; however here are a few tips that could help prevent child abduction:
1. Make sure custody documents are in order.
2. Have ID-like photos taken of your kids every 6 months and have them fingerprinted.
3. Keep your kids' medical and dental records up to date.
4. Set boundaries about the places your kids go. Supervise them in places like malls, movie theaters, parks, public bathrooms, or while fundraising door to door.
5. Monitor online activity
6. Choose caregivers — babysitters, childcare providers, and nannies — carefully and check their references. If you've arranged for someone to pick up your kids from school or day care, discuss the arrangements beforehand with your kids and with the school or childcare center.

When a child comes up missing it can be a stressful time. Many times the first thing that enters a parents mind is either the child was abduction by a family member or a stranger; however many times, it’s often a misunderstanding. However, if you are dealing with a custody battle and you feel lost in all the legal jargon, Experts can help you understand what steps that need to be followed by answering any questions you may have.
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