Merced County California

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Criminal Charges
Overview
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)
  • Penal Code Section 278.5 (Deprivation of Custody)
  • Penal Code Section 207(a) (Kidnapping)
  • Penal Code Section 166(a)(4) (Contempt of Court)

Penal Code Section 278 (Child Stealing)
This is used when a child is taken by someone with no right to custody. It is punishable by up to one year in jail, or two years, three years, or four years in prison.

Penal Code Section 278.5 (Deprivation of Custody)
This is used when one parent deprives the other parent of their custodial right to the child. It is punishable by up to one year in jail, or 16 months, two years, or  three years in prison.

Penal Code Section 207(a) (Kidnapping)
This is used when a person forcibly steals, takes, holds or detains any person in this state and carries them into another country, state or county or into another part of the same county. It is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for three, five or eight years.

If the person kidnapped is under 14 years of age at the time of the commission of the crime, the kidnapping is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for five, eight or eleven years.

Penal Code Section 166(a)(4) (Contempt of Court)
This may be used when a visitation order is violated. It is punishable by up to six months in jail.


Merced County 2222 M Street Merced, CA 9543 Ph. (209) 385-7434 Toll Free (800) 226-6452