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Abduction of another’s child is a serious felony in Wisconsin.  Contact our criminal defense experts for help. (414) 270-0202

Abduction of another’s child is felony charge in Wisconsin.  Depending on the facts of the case, the charge qualifies as either a Class C or a Class E felony.  A Class C felony carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison.  This 40 years in prison breaks into 25 years initial confinement and 15 years extended supervision.  The Class E felony carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.  The initial confinement portion is 10 years and the extended supervision term is 5 years.  Obviously either version of this offense is incredibly serious.  Fines for this charge range up to $100,000.00.

At Meyer Van Severen we recognize that the time in prison and significant fines are obviously a significant concern.  But there’s a social stigma attached to charges like this.  In cases involving the abduction of another’s child, the media will certainly become involved.  Your friends, co-workers, family, and others may begin to treat you differently based purely upon the charges you’re accused of.

Hiring a criminal defense attorney to help you through this is the first step we believe you should take.  Our criminal defense attorneys are experts.  This is the only kind of work we do.  And we certainly recognize what you’re dealing with.

To schedule a free initial consultation, call us at (414) 270-0202. We answer phone calls24/7 and want to help you win your case.

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What is abduction of another’s child?

Section 948.30 of the Wisconsin Statutes prohibits abduction of another’s child.

(1)  Any person who, for any unlawful purpose, does any of the following is guilty of a Class E felony:
(a) Takes a child who is not his or her own by birth or adoption from the child’s home or the custody of his or her parent, guardian or legal custodian.
(b) Detains a child who is not his or her own by birth or adoption when the child is away from home or the custody of his or her parent, guardian or legal custodian.
(2) Any person who, for any unlawful purpose, does any of the following is guilty of a Class C felony:
(a) By force or threat of imminent force, takes a child who is not his or her own by birth or adoption from the child’s home or the custody of his or her parent, guardian or legal custodian.
(b) By force or threat of imminent force, detains a child who is not his or her own by birth or adoption when the child is away from home or the custody of his or her parent, guardian or legal custodian.
For purpose of this section, a child is in custody of his parent, guardian, or legal custodian if:
  • Firstly, the child is in the actual physical custody of the parent, guardian, or legal custodian; or
  • Secondly, the child is not in the actual physical custody of his or her parent, guardian or legal custodian, but the parent, guardian or legal custodian continues to have control of the child.

What are the elements of this offense?

Abduction of a child, like all other crimes, has elements.  An element is a part of the crime.  And finally, for the government to succeed at trial they must prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt.

Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instruction 2160 describes abduction of a child: taking from home or custody:

  • Firstly, the defendant took the victim from his or her home, or from the custody of his or her parent, guardian, or legal custody; and
  • Secondly, at the time of the alleged taking, the victim was a child under the age of 18 years who was not the defendant’s child by birth or adoption; and
  • Finally, the defendant took the child for an unlawful purpose.

Breaking down this offense by the elements certainly makes it easier to understand.  That’s exactly why judges use the jury instructions for juries during trial.  While the entire law might be difficult to understand, the instructions are not.

For example, the defendant took the victim from her home.  At the time of the taking, the victim was 15 years old.  Finally, the defendant took the victim for the purpose of sexually assaulting the child.  Because sexual assault is a crime, the defendant took the child for an unlawful purpose.  In this situation, the defendant satisfied the elements of the crime.

What is the Class C felony version of this offense?

The Class C felony version of this offense involves either abduction or detainment of another’s child by use or threat of force.  The force must be imminent.  To qualify as imminent, the force must be “near at hand” or “on the point of happening.”

So, using our previous example, if the defendant punched the victim and then bound her hands with rope, that’s arguably with use of force.  Therefore, we move from a Class F felony to a Class C felony.

A man abducts another's child
Our criminal defense attorneys involve criminal cases involving abduction of another’s child. For aggressive criminal defense representation, contact Meyer Van Severen, S.C. at (414) 270-0202.

How do we defend my case?

There’s something important you must remember: do not talk to the media.  Do not let your friends or family talk to the media.  Abduction of a child cases frequently involve media attention.  The best way to begin defending your criminal case is by not letting a nosy reporter pry incriminating statements out of you.

And the same goes for law enforcement.  If you’re arrested for this offense, the police certainly believe you’re the person who committed the offense.  And at that point, they’re not looking to solve the crime.  They’re instead looking for you to admit you did something wrong.

If you did give a statement, we’ll examine it to determine whether police abided by required constitutional principles.  If they did not, we’ll file a motion challenging the use of your statement at trial.

Finally, it’s important to remember that every criminal case is different.  We simply cannot describe how to accurately defend every criminal case in a website page.  But during our initial consultation we’ll certainly begin figuring out what we can challenge in your case.

Finally, hire Meyer Van Severen, S.C. for your case

The criminal defense lawyers at Meyer Van Severen, S.C. are professionals.  Our entire practice is dedicated to criminal defense.  That dogged dedication to one specific area of law helps us better achieve a great result for your specific case.  And finally, abduction cases are sensitive.  Not all criminal defense attorneys have the skills necessary to achieve a positive result in your case.

We answer phone calls 24/7, so there’s no reason to hesitate calling us.  We want to talk to you about your case, so call us at (414) 270-0202.