Not only are you an excellent attorney, but a good person who truly cared about me and always did your best to help me. I am so grateful for being given a second chance.—TomDave Shrager successfully lobbied for my felony charge to be completely withdrawn. His services were worth every dime. A highly personable, intelligent, and competent attorney, I would recommend Dave Shrager to my closest friends and family without hesitation.—RonDave knows the system better than any lawyer in Pittsburgh due to his family's local and long-standing practice, and it was evident in the positive manner in which the judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers responded to Dave's arguments on my behalf.—JimI cannot say thank you enough to David Shrager for all his help today! If it were not for this guy, I would no longer have a job or drivers license. So thanks again Dave, you're the best!—BillI was in a bad place in my life...I was making bad decisions, which led to my having a really bad night and lots of legal trouble. I'm lucky I had Attorney David Shrager at my side. He helped guide me, with his legal expertise, through a very difficult time in my life.—Tamika
Call 412-969-2540 to Speak Directly with Attorney David Shrager 24 HOURS A DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK

CUSTODY CRIMES IN PENNSYLVANIA

Information About Child Custodial Interference Charges in PA

More than half of marriages end in divorce and many of those marriages involve children. This means of course that there are often custody disputes. Both parents love their children and want what they think is best for them. But that is often two different things and can lead parents to decide to not follow custody rules.

A parent of guardian may not think the violation is such a big deal or may even get confused over the visitation rules, but the other parent may disagree and file charges – maybe out of concern for the well being of the child but also maybe to be vindictive.

If you are facing Interference With Custody of Children charges, the crime is very serious in Pennsylvania and comes with extremely harsh penalties.

You not only risk a felony on your permanent record, probable loss of your job and difficulty obtaining housing and loans in the future, but you also risk losing custody of your child/children entirely.

In addition, the crime of Interference With Custody of Children was added as a Tier I offense under Megan’s Law. If convicted, you will be forced to register on PA’s sex offender registry for a period of fifteen years.

As you can imagine, this will have very negative consequences on all aspects of your life – including where you are able to live and work.

If you have been charged with Interference with Child Custody in Pennsylvania it is imperative that you seek the help of an experienced PA Criminal Defense Attorney immediately.

Attorney David Shrager provides compassionate counsel and will listen to your side of the story with understanding and empathy, not judgment, reproof or apathy. His law firm will aggressively seek action to prove your innocence and have your charges dropped completely.

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AN INTERFERENCE WITH CUSTODY OF CHILDREN CHARGE DOES NOT
MEAN THAT YOU ARE GUILTY OR THAT YOU WILL BE CONVICTED.

CALL OR TEXT ATTORNEY DAVID J. SHRAGER TODAY
FOR A FREE LEGAL CONSULTATION: 412-969-2540.

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INTERFERENCE WITH CUSTODY OF CHILDREN – PENNSYLVANIA LAWS

Law enforcement typically does not like to interfere in matters of the family court unless it is necessary. Consistently arriving early or late for picking up your child may be a violation of your custody agreement, but generally a matter police will leave to the family court.

Most often in simple matters, you could be held in contempt and it could affect your future custody arrangement. However, if you intentionally fail to return your child against a court ordered visitation or custody agreement, there could be grounds for criminal charges – especially if doing so caused alarm or the need for an Amber Alert.

Interference with the custody of children is applies to both parents of children as well as non-parents. The circumstances surrounding the interference will be what determines the severity of the charges. For example, a non-parent or guardian who interferes with custody will generally receive a harsher penalty if convicted.

The crime of interference with custody of children is explained in detail in PA Title 18 §2904 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. It states that it is a crime to:

  • Knowingly or recklessly take or entice any child under the age of 18 years from the custody of its parent, guardian or other lawful custodian, when he has no privilege to do so.

The necessary intent is one of knowing or reckless. Simply taking the child knowing you have no right to do so is enough.

However, if you take the child with no care or regard for the consequences of your actions, you are being reckless and the penalties are likely to be more severe. This is true whether you are a parent/guardian or not.

_________________________________________________________

CUSTODY CRIME CHARGES DO NOT
MEAN THAT YOU ARE GUILTY OR THAT YOU WILL BE CONVICTED.

CALL OR TEXT ATTORNEY SHRAGER TODAY
FOR A FREE LEGAL CONSULTATION: 412-969-2540.

____________________________________________________________

PENALTIES IF CONVICTED OF CUSTODIAL INTERFERENCE

Generally speaking, the offense is a felony of the third degree. A felony of the third degree carries a penalty of:

  • Up to seven years in prison
  • Up to $15,000 in fines

However, penalties increase in the following circumstance:

(1)  the actor, not being a parent or person in equivalent relation to the child, acted with knowledge that his conduct would cause serious alarm for the safety of the child, or in reckless disregard of a likelihood of causing such alarm.

In such cases, the offense shall be a felony of the second degree. A second degree felony carries a maximum penalty of:

  • Up to ten years in prison
  • Up to $25,000 in fines

Should the defendant be a parent of the child or children and the following circumstances are met, the penalties are slightly less:

(2)  the actor acted with good cause for a period of time not in excess of 24 hours; and

(i)  the victim child is the subject of a valid order of custody issued by a court of this Commonwealth;

(ii)  the actor has been given either partial custody or visitation rights under said order; and

(iii)  the actor is a resident of this Commonwealth and does not remove the child from the Commonwealth.

In such cases, the offense shall be a misdemeanor of the second degree. A misdemeanor of the second degree carries a maximum penalty of:

  • Up to two years in prison
  • Up to $5,000 in fines

DEFENSES TO CUSTODY CRIME CHARGES IN PA

The consequences of a conviction in any case of interference with custody of children are serious. The possibility of a felony on your criminal record and mandatory registration as a sex offender are very damaging.

It is important to have a skilled defense attorney to help guide you.

Some possible defenses include:

  • At the time of the taking or enticing of the child, you believed your actions would help keep the child from harm;
  • The child is age 14 or older and wanted to go with you. There was no enticement and no intention to commit any offense;
  • There was no violation of a court custody order.

A knowledgeable attorney will be able to interview witnesses and discredit testimony offered by the prosecution. In addition, they will be able to sort through any court documents and custody agreements to determine what, if any, agreement has been broken.

When your future and your rights are at stake, you need a determined attorney who can fight for your rights. Call Shrager Defense Attorneys today.

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FREE Legal Consultation

Call or Text 412-969-2540 right now for a FREE initial legal consultation.
Speak directly with Pittsburgh Attorney Shrager 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Shrager Defense Attorneys in Pittsburgh, PA will attack your criminal charges in order to protect your good name. Have a sound and solid case prepared by David J. Shrager and his legal team so they can fight for your rights.

If you have been charged with, or think you may be charged with, any of the following sexual offenses, call Attorney Shrager immediately for a free consultation: