During a particularly contentious divorce, it is possible for one parent to attempt to keep his or her child away from his or her spouse. Whether this attempt is out of jealousy or an attempt to protect the child from a potential abuser, the parent may still be accused of parental kidnapping.
Colorado has a law to address this scenario specifically. It is set forth in Article 13 of the Colorado Revised Statutes called Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. It outlines the enforcement of interstate child custody and visitation determinations.
If a parent doesn’t have a court order addressing parental rights, visitation, decision-making, or other essential details needed to protect parental rights, both parents could be accused of kidnapping if they attempt to take their child away from the other parent.
If a parent does take his or her child away, particularly over state lines, the parent is committing a child abduction by wrongfully retaining their kid. If they are caught, this parent would be accused of 2nd-degree kidnapping. Colorado law defines a 2nd-degree kidnapper as any person, including a natural or foster parent, who takes or entices any child under the age of 18 years from the custody of his or her parent, guardian, or other lawful custodian. This crime is also a class 5 felony.
Conviction of a class 5 felony will result in 1 to 3 years in prison and $1,000 to $100,000 in fines. It also will lead to a mandatory parole period of 2 years.
If you are accused of parental kidnapping, give yourself the best chance of keeping your freedom and staying in contact with your children by talking to a skilled Denver criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. I have more than 30 years of legal experience to offer your case. Let me take a look at your situation and offer you advice regarding your best course of action.
Contact me at (303) 622-3281 or fill out the online form to schedule your no-cost, no-obligation consultation today.