Crimes where children are the victims carry stiff penalties and are among the type priorities of federal, state, and local law enforcement. The crimes of kidnapping and parenting time interference often overlap, but they also have some important differences.
What is Parenting Time Interference?
While most parenting time disputes are handled within the family court system, sometimes actions cross the line from civil issues to criminal issues. The crime of custodial interference is known as Unlawful Visitation or Parenting Time Interference.
You commit this crime when you detain or conceal a child with the intent of depriving someone of his or her rights to parenting time. There is a provision to the law that allows for this type of activity if the parent has a reasonable fear the child will be harmed or put in imminent danger if the other parent exercises their parenting time.
An example of this crime would be if one parent lied about the whereabouts of a child to keep the other parent from exercising their court-ordered parenting time.
Penalties for Parenting Time Interference
The basic violation of this crime is a petty offense, making it similar to getting a speeding ticket. But, it can also be charged as a Class A misdemeanor is many circumstances. If you are charged with the misdemeanor Unlawful Visitation or Parenting Time Interference, you could face up to a year in jail and $2,500 fine.
What is Parental Kidnapping?
Parental kidnapping is much more than just not letting the other parent exercise their parenting time. The crime of parental kidnapping known as child abduction under Illinois law, involves intentionally concealing, detaining, or removing a child from a court’s jurisdiction in the case where a court order has been issued, when a petition has been filed or served, or without the legal consent of the mother or legal guardian if no court case has been commenced.
If the child is taken outside of the state of Illinois it automatically becomes a federal crime and will involve the FBI.
Penalties for Parental Kidnapping
Child abduction is usually a Class 4 felony. It is punishable by three to six years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. If there are aggravating factors, child abduction can be charged as a Class 3 or Class 2 felony. This would mean a prison sentence between five and 14 years.
If you have been accused of a serious crime you need to speak with a skilled and knowledgeable Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyer. At Cosley Law Office, our team has vast experience with both the family court and criminal court systems, allowing us to better serve the needs of our clients. A strong criminal defense starts with you understanding your rights. Call 847-253-3100 to schedule your free consultation today.