Accused of Parental Kidnapping
I Picked Up My Child From Daycare and Now My Ex Is Suing Me For Kidnapping
In Columbia, Missouri, a man was charged with burglary and kidnapping. As it turns out, the 7-month-old he took was his daughter. The 31-year-old allegedly knocked on the door of the victim’s home for over an hour, while the woman refused to let him enter.
The man, Kevin Crane, then went to the rear of the home, threw a propane tank through a window and kidnapped their infant daughter. He pleaded guilty to parental kidnapping.
What is Parental Kidnapping?
Kidnapping is defined as using force or fear to take a person and transport them a substantial distance. Either parent has a legal right to custody of his or her child any time, unless there is an official court order or decree, which limits one parent’s rights or access to the child. There are three main elements that help define whether or not parental kidnapping has occurred:
- The legal status of the parent who took the child
- Whether or not any court orders exist that deal with custody
- The intentions of the parent who took the child
The only way a person can have parental rights of a child is to be the biological parent, or legal guardian. Functional parenting, or living with a child and acting as their parent for an extended period of time, does not afford someone the same rights as a parent. For instance, even if a child regards you as their parent, you cannot pick them up from school or transport them out of state without permission from his or her legal guardian.
In some cases, attorneys use the “lawful custody” defense to successfully defeat parental kidnapping charges, but this may not always be effective. Even if you have lawful custody of a child, and take them at a time that was not decreed by a visitation schedule, you could be accused of snatching, rather than kidnapping. This is still a serious charge.
Kidnapping is a serious charge. If you have been charged with parental kidnapping, you need an experienced attorney like Kia Feyzjou to protect your rights. At Kia Law, we are ready to answer your questions and defend you. Call 855.662.2723 or contact us online today.