Interference with Child Custody graphic with Texas flag

Interference with Child Custody

The Interference with Child Custody crime in the state of Texas makes it a crime to take a child certain places, even if you are the child’s parent, when there is a child custody order in place or when there is a child custody dispute pending. You can also be charged with this offense for enticing a child to leave the custodial parent. Learn more detailed information about the Interference with Child Custody offense below.

Have you been charged with Interference with Child Custody? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305 to discuss legal representation.

Interference with Child Custody is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 6 “Offenses Against The Family,” Chapter 25 “Offenses Against The Family.”

What is the current Texas law about Interference with Child Custody?

The current Texas law is as follows:1

(a) A person commits an offense if the person takes or retains a child younger than 18 years of age:

(1) when the person knows that the person’s taking or retention violates the express terms of a judgment or order, including a temporary order, of a court disposing of the child’s custody;

(2) when the person has not been awarded custody of the child by a court of competent jurisdiction, knows that a suit for divorce or a civil suit or application for habeas corpus to dispose of the child’s custody has been filed, and takes the child out of the geographic area of the counties composing the judicial district if the court is a district court or the county if the court is a statutory county court, without the permission of the court and with the intent to deprive the court of authority over the child; or

(3) outside of the United States with the intent to deprive a person entitled to possession of or access to the child of that possession or access and without the permission of that person.

(b) A noncustodial parent commits an offense if, with the intent to interfere with the lawful custody of a child younger than 18 years, the noncustodial parent knowingly entices or persuades the child to leave the custody of the custodial parent, guardian, or person standing in the stead of the custodial parent or guardian of the child.

How can I be charged with Interference with Child Custody?

You can be charged with Interference with Child Custody if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 25.03(a) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the punishment for Interference with Child Custody?

A conviction for Interference with Child Custody is punished as a State Jail Felony,2 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and jail time of up to 2 years. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors


Legal References:

1 Texas Penal Code §25.03. Subsection (a) applies to everyone in the state of Texas, but subsection (b) is limited to noncustodial parents.

2 Texas Penal Code §25.03(d)

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