Child Abduction Law California Penal Code 278
Under California Penal Code 278 it restricts anyone from stealing a child. The law is violated whenever a person has taken a child away from his or her parent. The policy for this law is to protect the parents against anxiety and emotional harm. In order to meet California Penal Code 278 three elements must be satisfied. The elements are 1) The person maliciously took kept, and concealed a child (Child is under 18) 2) The person did not have a right to gain custody over the child 3) The person had the intention to conceal the child from his or her lawful guardian. There are five defenses to California Penal Code 278.
The five defenses are 1) The person had lawful custody over the child 2) The person from whom the child was taken from was not the legal guardian 3) The person did not spitefully take the child 4) The person was wrongfully arrested because of a mistaken identity 5) There was insufficient evidence (Beyond a Reasonable Doubt) to show child abduction was apparent.
Under California Penal Code 278 the prosecutors can charge this as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on 1) The circumstances of the crime 2) The person has a criminal history. If it’s a misdemeanor then the person may face up to one year in country jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. If it’s a felony then the person may face either probation and up to one year of country jail or two to four years in California state prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.