Criminal Charges

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District Attorney's OfficeGary Lieberstein, District Attorney

Gary Lieberstein

Criminal Charges

The following criminal charges may be filed when a child is abducted by a parent or a visitation order is violated:

Penal Code Section 278 (Child Stealing) - This is used when a child is taken by someone with no right to custody. It is punishable by up to 4 years in prison.

Penal Code Section 278.5 (Deprivation of Custody) - This is used when a person deprives a lawful custodian of a right to custody, or a person's right to visitation. It is punishable by up to 3 years in prison.

Penal Code Section 207(a) (Kidnapping) - This is used when a person forcibly steals, takes, holds or detains any person in this state and carries them into another country, state or county or into another part of the same county. It is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for up to eight years. If the person kidnapped is under 14 years of age at the time of the commission of the crime, the kidnapping is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for up to eleven years.

Penal Code Section 166(a)(4) (Contempt of Court) - This may be used when a visitation order is violated. It is punishable by up to six months in jail. Criminal prosecution should only be considered as a last resort.