Penalties for Kidnapping by a Parent or Guardian
Circumstances that May Lead to Kidnapping Accusations
Matters of child custody can become complicated, especially while a divorce is underway. Parents may disagree or experience conflict regarding transfer of children, where children will live, etc. As a result, one parent or guardian may decide to detain the children in question. This can be construed as abduction if they are depriving another person of their lawful custody or visitation rights, which can lead to criminal kidnapping charges. Kidnapping charges are serious and can have a negative impact on your life and future. It is important to understand when and why you are being charged with kidnapping. An experienced defense attorney can assist in fighting a kidnapping charge.
There are several common scenarios in which deprivation of custody may occur, including:
- A relative with temporary custody of a child refuses to release the child to their parent(s) at the appropriate time.
- Two parents share custody of a child, and one refuses to release the child to the other parent due to conflicts over new romantic partners, living circumstances, scheduling, etc.
- A parent decides to separate or divorce without telling their spouse and relocates with their child.
In certain situations, a person might be accused of kidnapping by taking their child out of the state if it violates a custody agreement. The consequences for a kidnapping charge can be severe.
Consequences of Depriving Another Parent of Custody
According to Nebraska Revised Statute 28-313, a person may be guilty of kidnapping if they kidnap another person and do so with the intent to do any of the following:
- Hold them for ransom or reward
- Take them hostage
- Use them as a shield
- Terrorize them or another party
- Interfere with a government function or political event
- Commit a felony
Kidnapping is typically considered a Class IA felony, which is punishable by life in prison. According to Neb. § 28-313, “if the person kidnapped was voluntarily released or liberated by the abductor and in a safe place without having suffered serious bodily injury, prior to trial, kidnapping is a Class II felony.” A Class II felony in Nebraska is punishable by a prison sentence of 1-50 years.
We Serve Nebraska Parents Accused of Kidnapping
At Berry Law Firm, we may be able to help defend you against charges of kidnapping from your spouse or another person with legal rights to visitation or custody of your child. As experienced criminal defense attorneys, we may be able to help you fight charges of kidnapping and protect your parental rights during the process. Connect with a member of our team to receive a confidential case evaluation and allow us to help you determine your next steps.