Penal Code 208b covers the charge of aggravated kidnapping of a minor child under 14. Convictions under this charge can lead to harsh legal penalties. Kidnapping typically involves taking someone against their will.
Find out more about PC 208b charges in California with the Simmrin Law Group. While basic kidnapping can result in serious penalties by itself, kidnapping a minor child under 14 can have even more serious effects.
The Legal Definition of Kidnapping a Minor Child Under 14
California considers kidnapping anyone to be a criminal offense, no matter their age. However, some acts of kidnapping are more severe than others. Kidnapping a child under the age of 14, for instance, represents a severe criminal act. This crime can lead to harsher penalties than a “basic” kidnapping charge, which is prosecuted under Penal Code 207.
Kidnapping a minor child under 14 is a kind of “aggravated” kidnapping. Aggravated kidnapping is prosecuted under Penal Code 209. In many cases, aggravated kidnapping charges only apply if someone kidnaps another person and:
- Holds them for reward or ransom, or
- Plans to carry out another crime against them
These requirements do not hold true for kidnapping a minor child under the age of 14. More severe penalties may apply even if the child is not held for ransom. They can also apply if no other crimes are committed.
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Consider the Act of Kidnapping in California
You may wonder about the specific definition of kidnapping as used in the state of California. Individuals may face kidnapping charges any time they move another individual a “substantial” distance:
- Through the use of force or fear, and/or
- Without the individual’s consent
There are also legal definitions for both “force” and “fear” in California. Individuals use force if they physically impose upon another person. They may use fear if they threaten to cause another person harm. You can learn more about kidnapping charges by reaching out to a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles at the Simmrin Law Group by calling (310) 896-2723.
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Exceptions to PC 208b Charges in California
You should know that there are several major exceptions to PC 208b charges in the state of California. The court system does not charge certain individuals with kidnapping a minor child under 14. This includes:
- The child’s biological father or mother
- The child’s adopted parents
- The child’s court-appointed guardian
These exceptions are tied to Family Code §7611. This law allows certain individuals to move a child around without the child’s express permission through the state of California.
Results of a Conviction for a PC 208b Violation
The court harshly punishes convictions for kidnapping a child under 14. PC 208b convictions are always considered felonies in California. Individuals convicted of violating PC 208b may end up facing:
- Fines of up to $10,000
- Prison time of up to 11 years
Note that judges may sometimes grant felony probation after a PC 208b conviction. However, even with probation individuals must spend some time in jail. Generally, individuals must spend one year in jail before they receive probation in California. Once on probation, individuals must follow a number of orders set forth by the court system. Failure to follow these orders may result in a probation violation.
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Defenses for PC 208b Accusations in California
There are a number of defenses that may work to handle kidnapping a minor child under 14. Depending upon the circumstances, a lawyer could take steps to show that an individual:
Didn’t Commit a Kidnapping
Kidnapping charges only apply in specific situations. For example, taking a child without moving them a substantial distance may not qualify as kidnapping. Additionally, kidnapping charges may be inappropriate if an individual does not use force or fear on a child.
Was Falsely Accused
Sometimes individuals make false accusations of kidnapping in California. This may occur as an honest mistake. Individuals may also make false claims in an attempt to “punish” someone else. A lawyer can handle your defense if there is little evidence that you actually engaged in a kidnapping.
Contact a Lawyer to Handle PC 208b Charges Now
You don’t have to take on charges for kidnapping a minor child under 14 on your own in California. Reach out to the Simmrin Law Group if you were charged under Penal Code 208b. Allow us to discuss your legal options today with a free consultation. Our criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles understand how to handle your legal needs.
Reach out to us by calling (310) 896-2723. You may also complete our online contact form.