Family Law | O'Keeffe O'Brien Lyson Attorneys

What is Parental Kidnapping?

As a parent, you likely feel that it’s your obligation to always do what’s best for your child. Unfortunately, in some cases, taking your child without the consent of his or her other parent can result in criminal allegations of parental kidnapping. Parental kidnapping typically occurs in one of two ways:

  • A parent who shares custody violates the custody agreement and retains or assumes custody of the child.
  • A parent leaves with the child without the consent of the other parent. This often occurs during separations or acrimonious custody battles.

In either case, the parent who left with the child could face significant criminal penalties. For this reason, if you have been accused of parental kidnapping, you should speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Fargo as soon as you can.

Are There Defenses to Parental Kidnapping?

The best defense to parental kidnapping allegations is to avoid them in the first place. If you share custody of your child with his or her other parent, and you’d like to deviate from the custody plan, talk to the other parent. If you do come to an agreement, make sure to get it in writing. In some cases, it may not be a bad idea to get an attorney involved if the deviation from your custody order is significant.

In the event that you are facing criminal charges, you should retain an attorney to represent you immediately. Some of the defense you could potentially raise include:

  • You did not violate your custody agreement
  • You could not stick to the terms of your custody agreement due to circumstances beyond your control
  • Your child was in danger, and you needed to leave to protect him or her
  • You were fleeing domestic violence

In the event that you left the area with your child during an emergency, it is a good idea to contact an attorney as soon as you can. Your lawyer may seek an emergency custody order so that you can lawfully keep custody of your child while things get figured out.

Call Us Today to Speak with a Fargo Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been accused of parental kidnapping, you should speak to an attorney as soon as you can. The lawyers of O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys are dedicated to helping people protect their rights, and our Fargo criminal defense lawyer understands how seriously parental kidnapping charges can affect your rights. To schedule a consultation, please feel free to email criminal defense attorney Tatum O’Brien directly, or call our office at 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002 toll-free. You can also send us an email through our online contact form.