Colorado Springs Parental Kidnapping Defense Attorneys
Parental kidnapping is also known as custodial interference. It is a crime that involves kidnapping your own child. It can happen when one parent tries to prevent the other from spending time with the child, despite court-ordered custody or visitation, or when a non-custodial parent refuses to return the child after a visit. If you have been accused of parental kidnapping, our Colorado Springs criminal defense attorney at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. can help.
We know just how confusing and devastating a parental kidnapping charge can be. Don’t you have a right to spend time with your child? How is taking your own child on a trip a criminal defense? Will I ever be allowed to see my child again after this charge? Our attorneys understand how upsetting this time must be for you. That’s why you need an experienced criminal defense attorney at your side. We may not be able to reverse the damage that has been done, but we can certainly answer your questions, guide you through the legal process, and fight for your rights in court. The prosecution started building their case the moment you were charged, so don’t waste any time in calling us at (719) 475-2555, so that we can start building yours.
Parental kidnapping occurs when one parent unlawfully takes a child away from the parent with legal custody. It may involve leaving the state with the child, without special permission from the court. To commit parental kidnapping, you must know you are acting without parental rights or privileges at the time.
Federal laws prohibiting parental kidnapping include the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA) and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). Like most states, Colorado has signed the UCCJEA. This means, if your child lives in Colorado and you took the child across the state line, the laws and custody orders in Colorado will apply.
If you have been accused of parental kidnapping, you may be facing felony charges. Custody order violations are a felony in Colorado. Under state law, any person, including a parent, is prohibited from enticing a child to leave the custodial parent or taking a child away from custody care.
It can be difficult to know just what constitutes parental kidnapping. Afterall, shouldn’t you have the right to travel as you see fit with your own child? Unfortunately, the courts do not see it this way, so you may unwittingly break the law when you decide to take your kid on a last-minute trip or vacation.
Common forms of parental kidnapping include:
- Traveling with the child out of state without the other parent’s knowledge or permission
- Failing to return the child to the other parent at the scheduled time
- Moving to a different address or refusing to communicate with the other parent when it is time to turn over the child
- Influencing the child to become convinced that the visitation schedule or custody orders must be changed
- Cutting the other parent’s parenting time short (if you are the custodial parent)
Parental kidnapping is usually charged as a class five felony in Colorado. Upon conviction, you may be facing penalties that include one to three years in jail and fines of $1,000 or more. If the child was taken out of the country, parental kidnapping becomes a class four felony, with penalties of two to six years in jail and $2,000 or more in fines.
The consequences of being convicted of parental kidnapping don’t stop at a prison sentence or fine, however. A charge of kidnapping will make it difficult for you to ever receive custody of your child, or even retain visitation rights. That child you were so determined to spend time with, may now not be allowed to see you until they are legally an adult.
Furthermore, a conviction can cause you to lose your job, hurt your relationships with family members and loved ones, and hurt your future job prospects. Being charged and then convicted with parental kidnapping can leave your life in shambles, and make it very difficult to ever fully recover.
If you have been accused of parental kidnapping, you may be facing felony charges. Your best course of action is to speak with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible and begin building your defense. It is not parental kidnapping if you acted as you did because you believed you were protecting the child, and the belief was a reasonable one. Important factors in parental kidnapping cases include how long the child was missing, whether the child was taken out of state, whether the other parent knew where the child was, and whether you expressed an intent to keep the child.
At The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., you will find Colorado Springs criminal defense attorneys with decades of experience and a successful track record for our clients. Attorney Tim Bussey provides the best legal defense money can buy. He takes the time to study and properly utilize every aspect of your case. Our priorities are client service, open communication, and personalized representation. We are committed to achieving the best possible outcome in your case. Call us at (719) 475-2555 today to schedule a free initial consultation if you are facing charges of parental kidnapping.