Possible Criminal Charges

Charges Based on Evidence

Criminal prosecution stemming from custody disputes are rare and are considered only as a last resort. Depending on the facts, 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) prohibits the taking of a child by a person with no right to custody.
  • Penal Code Section 278.5 (Deprivation of Custody) prohibits a person with a right to custody from depriving a lawful custodian of his or her right to custody or visitation.
  • Penal Code Section 207(a) (Kidnapping) prohibits a person from forcibly stealing, taking, holding or detaining any person in this state and carries them into another country, state or county or into another part of the same county.
  • Penal Code Section 166(a)(4) (Contempt of Court) prohibits the violation of a court order.