Often, custody battles over children in divorce cases can turn ugly, and one parent will accuse the other of child abduction. Convictions of criminal child abduction can be met with very serious punishment under Illinois law, so if you have been charged with or accused of child abduction, you must secure an effective Chicago defense lawyer immediately.
Child abduction is taken extremely seriously by Illinois courts. Under the law, it is grouped with kidnapping and other related crimes. Child abduction can be found to have occurred in many complex situations, including the following:
- Intentionally violating the terms of a valid court order granting custody to someone else by concealing or detaining the child;
- Intentionally concealing, detaining, or removing the child without the consent of the mother or lawful custodian if the person is a putative father, under certain circumstances;
- Intentionally failing or refusing to return the child to the lawful custodian in Illinois after visitation rights outside the state have ended;
- A parent knowingly concealing a child for 15 days without notifying the other parent of the child’s whereabouts;
- A parent using physical force or threat of physical force to remove a child from the other parent;
- Knowingly concealing, detaining, or removing a child for payment from a person without custody of the child;
- Knowingly keeping a child removed from another state without the consent of the lawful custodian or in violation of a valid court order of custody for 30 days;
- Intentionally luring a child into a vehicle or dwelling without consent from the parent; or
- Knowingly destroying or concealing physical evidence or furnishing false information in order to prevent efforts to locate a child who has been abducted.
Illinois law provides for many defenses in child abduction cases, including having custody or visitation rights, inability to return the child through no fault of your own, by fleeing domestic violence, or having some other lawful reason for taking the child.
Seek Counsel Right Away
Child abduction can be punished as a Class 4 felony, or in some extreme cases, as a Class 3 felony, with the potential for years in prison. Because of these high stakes, if you have had charges for child abduction entered against you, seek representation from an experienced Chicago criminal defense lawyer immediately. Goldman & Associates have years of experience helping clients defend themselves against allegations of child abduction. We will fight to preserve your freedom. Contact our office today to schedule a free evaluation of your child abduction case.