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Penal Code 208b PC | Kidnapping a Minor Child Under 14

 

Penal Code 208b PC – Kidnapping a Minor Child Under 14

Hey there! This article will explain California’s law against kidnapping a minor child under 14 years old under Penal Code 208b PC. We’ll break it down in simple terms, looking at what constitutes the crime, penalties, defenses, and more. No fancy legal language here!

What is Kidnapping a Minor Child Under 14?

This law makes it a more serious crime to kidnap a child under 14 years old. Let’s break down what’s required:

  • You took, held, or hid a child under 14
  • You did this against the child’s will
  • You moved the child a substantial distance
  • You used physical force or fear to take the child

So if you grab a 12-year-old off the street and drive them somewhere, you could be charged with kidnapping a minor under 14. It doesn’t matter if you are related to the child or not.

How is This Different From Regular Kidnapping?

Kidnapping a minor under 14 is considered a more serious “aggravated” kidnapping. Here is how it differs from regular kidnapping under Penal Code 207 PC:

  • Harsher potential sentence
  • Easier to prove – don’t need to show force or fear
  • No exception for parents/guardians

So it is treated more severely when the victim is a young child under 14 years old.

What Are the Penalties?

Kidnapping a minor under 14 is a felony punishable by:

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  • 5, 8, or 11 years in California state prison
  • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • 12 months in county jail if granted probation

It is a “strike” under California’s Three Strikes Law. A strike doubles your sentence for any future felony conviction.

Legal Defenses

Here are some examples of legal defenses that could fight a PC 208b charge:

  • False accusations – The alleged victim is lying or mistaken about what happened.
  • No intent – You had no intent to kidnap the child, it was a misunderstanding.
  • No substantial distance – You did not move the child far enough for it to legally be kidnapping.

An experienced criminal defense lawyer can evaluate the evidence in your case and decide the strongest defense.

Recent Changes to California Kidnapping Laws

Some recent changes to be aware of include:

  • In 2020, penalties were increased for kidnapping victims under the age of 18.
  • Also in 2020, using electronic communication to facilitate kidnapping was added as a crime.

An attorney can advise you on the latest charges and penalties you may face.

Examples of Kidnapping a Minor Cases

Let’s look at some real case examples:

  • People v. Marks – Marks was convicted under PC 208b for kidnapping his girlfriend’s 8-year-old daughter during a custody dispute. He got an 8 year prison sentence.
  • People v. Simmons – Simmons kidnapped a 13-year-old boy walking home from school by forcing him into his car. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

What Should I Do if Charged with Kidnapping a Minor?

Being charged with kidnapping a child under 14 is very serious. Here are some steps to take if you are charged:

  1. Remain silent and only speak to your criminal defense lawyer
  2. Hire an experienced kidnapping crimes attorney immediately
  3. Follow your lawyer’s advice about plea bargains or going to trial
  4. Work closely with your lawyer to build the strongest defense

Never try to represent yourself on felony kidnapping charges. An experienced California criminal defense lawyer can often negotiate reduced charges or even get charges dismissed. Don’t take chances with your future – get legal help right away.

 

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