The Consequences of Parental Kidnapping

Child abduction and parental kidnapping are prevalent in Kansas and across the United States. According to the most recent statistics from the United States Department of Justice, as many as 200,000 children are victims of family abduction every year.

Parental kidnapping occurs when one parent takes their child away without the other parent's consent. A defendant convicted of parental kidnapping could be facing severe penalties, including massive fines, possible jail time, loss of custody rights, criminal record, and other devastating life-altering ramifications.

If you've been accused of abducting or kidnapping your own child, it is imperative that you retain a highly-skilled Kansas criminal defense attorney to strategize your defense. Roth Davies LLC is dedicated to offering knowledgeable legal guidance and aggressive representation to clients facing parental kidnapping charges.

Roth Davies LLC can review all of the facts of your case, help you understand the possible criminal consequences, and outline an effective defense to fight the allegations against you. The firm is proud to represent clients in Overland Park, Kansas, and throughout Johnson County.

Parental Kidnapping

Parental kidnapping can be described as a situation whereby one parent absconds with their child either by violating a custody agreement or without the other parent's consent. Under Kansas law, parental kidnapping, also known as interference with parental custody, means:

"Taking or enticing away any child under the age of 16 years with the intent to detain or conceal such child from the child's parent, guardian, or other person having the lawful charge of such child." – Kansas Statutes Section 21-5409.

Examples of Actions Viewed As Kidnapping

Some common examples of actions that may be viewed as parental kidnapping include:

  • A parent detains or conceals a child from the other parent.
  • A parent violates a custody arrangement and runs away with the child.
  • A divorced parent with no custody order takes the child to an isolated place without informing the other parent.
  • A parent removes or conceals a child from the other parent during a marriage, child custody, or paternity proceeding.
  • A relative takes a child to a secluded area in order to conceal him or her from the parents.
  • A parent refuses to return a child to the other parent at the end of a visitation schedule.

An experienced attorney can review the facts of your case, explain the nature of your charges to you, and determine your possible defenses.

Types of Parental Kidnapping

Under Kansas law, parental kidnapping can be categorized into two – simple and aggravated interference with parental custody.

Simple Interference with Parental Custody

Simple interference with parental custody involves taking a child below 16 years away with an intent to detain or conceal the child from the other parent. Interference with parental custody may be punishable as a severity level 10, person felony, or class A person misdemeanor, depending on the surrounding circumstances.

Aggravated Interference with Parental Custody

Aggravated interference with parental custody involves hiring another person to help commit the crime of interference with parental custody – as defined above. The crime also occurs when:

  • A person with a prior conviction commits the crime of interference with parental custody again.
  • A parent takes the child outside the state without the consent of either the court or the parent with custody.
  • A parent refused to return the child after the expiration of the visitation schedule or parenting time.
  • A parent detains or conceals the child in an unknown place, whether inside or outside the state.

Aggravated interference with parental custody is a severity level 7, person felony.

If you've been arrested and charged with parental abduction or kidnapping, it is imperative that you reach out to a skilled criminal defense attorney right away. Your attorney can enlighten you about the possible criminal consequences of your allegations and determine whether your actions fall under any of the exceptions.

Exceptions

However, there are some exceptions to interference with parental custody in Kansas. These include:

  • There is no home state.
  • There is a significant connection to another state.
  • There is an emergency. For instance, the child has been abandoned or is in danger.
  • There are reasonable concerns of actual or threatened mistreatment or abuse. 
  • There are reasonable concerns about the child's safety and health with the other parent.

An experienced lawyer can evaluate every last detail of your unique circumstances, enlighten you about the possible penalties and consequences, and determine your best defense strategy.

Possible Penalties

Depending on the severity of the offense and other surrounding circumstances, the possible penalties and consequences for parental abduction in Kansas include:

  • Massive fines
  • Prison sentences (ranging from months or years)
  • A criminal record
  • Restitution to the victim
  • Paying for the cost incurred to locate and return the child to the other parent
  • Loss of child custody or visitation rights
  • Loss of rights to possess, carry, or own a firearm or gun (felony conviction)
  • Possible deportation or inadmissible into the United States (if the defendant is not a U.S. citizen)
  • Increased difficulty in securing employment, housing, or government assistance
  • Increased difficulty in obtaining certain financial loans

A skilled Kansas parental kidnapping defense attorney can investigate all of the surrounding facts of your case thoroughly and determine the best defenses to help you avoid the far-reaching implications of a criminal conviction.

Hire Experienced Advocacy

Defending your parental kidnapping allegations without experienced representation could easily increase your possibility of suffering the maximum punishment. Unfortunately, a criminal conviction could jeopardize your liberty, personal reputation, custody and visitation rights, familial relationships, and future opportunities. Therefore, when facing parental kidnapping charges, retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately is paramount to explore your possible defenses and protect your custody rights.

The attorneys at Roth Davies LLC possess the expertise, diligence, and resources to defend and represent parents who have been wrongfully accused of kidnapping their child. As your legal counsel, they will investigate every last detail of your case and strategize an effective defense in pursuit of the most favorable outcome for your unique situation. The firm can help you navigate the Kansas criminal justice system and guide you through every stage of the legal proceedings. They will represent you vigorously in court, attempt to establish your innocence, and improve your chances of a brighter tomorrow.

Contact Roth Davies LLC today to schedule a simple case evaluation with knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys. The firm is proud to represent clients in Overland Park, Kansas, and throughout Johnson County.


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