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PARENTAL KIDNAPPING IN VA

 Parental Kidnapping in VA, a Brief Summary

       1.       Section 18.2-49.1 of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended states the following:

                  A. Any person who knowingly, wrongfully and intentionally withholds a child from either of a child’s parents or other legal guardian in a clear and significant violation of a court order respecting the custody or visitation of such child, provided such child is withheld outside of the Commonwealth, is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

                 B. Any person who knowingly, wrongfully and intentionally engages in conduct that constitutes a clear and significant violation of a court order respecting the custody or visitation of a child is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor upon conviction of a first offense. Any person who commits a second violation of this section within 12 months of a first conviction is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor, and any person who commits a third violation occurring within 24 months of the first conviction is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

        2.        Section 18.2-47 of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended states the following:

                A. Any person who, by force, intimidation or deception, and without legal justification or excuse, seizes, takes, transports, detains or secretes another person with the intent to deprive such other person of his personal liberty or to withhold or conceal him from any person, authority or institution lawfully entitled to his charge, shall be deemed guilty of “abduction.”

               B. Any person who, by force, intimidation or deception, and without legal justification or excuse, seizes, takes, transports, detains or secretes another person with the intent to subject him to forced labor or services shall be deemed guilty of “abduction.” For purposes of this subsection, the term “intimidation” shall include destroying, concealing, confiscating, withholding, or threatening to withhold a passport, immigration document, or other governmental identification or threatening to report another as being illegally present in the United States.

             C. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any law-enforcement officer in the performance of his duty. The terms “abduction” and “kidnapping” shall be synonymous in this Code. Abduction for which no punishment is otherwise prescribed shall be punished as a Class 5 felony.

            D. If an offense under subsection A is committed by the parent of the person abducted and punishable as contempt of court in any proceeding then pending, the offense shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor in addition to being punishable as contempt of court. However, such offense, if committed by the parent of the person abducted and punishable as contempt of court in any proceeding then pending and the person abducted is removed from the Commonwealth by the abducting parent, shall be a Class 6 felony in addition to being punishable as contempt of court.




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