Penal Code 208(b) PC - Kidnapping a Minor Child Under 14
Kidnapping is a serious crime that carries up to eight years in prison if convicted. Suppose the victim is a minor under the age of 14. In that case, it's considered aggravated kidnapping that carries up to 11 years in state prison and is codified under Penal Code 208(b) PC.
PC 208 says, “(a) Kidnapping is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for three, five, or eight years.
(b) If the person kidnapped is under 14 years of age at the time of the commission of the crime, the kidnapping is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 5, 8, or 11 years.
This subdivision does not apply to the taking, detaining, or concealing of a minor child by a biological parent, a natural father, as specified in Section 7611 of the Family Code, an adoptive parent, or a person to whom a court order granted access to the minor child.
(c) In all cases in which probation is granted, the court shall, except in unusual cases where a lesser penalty would best serve the interests of justice, require as a condition of the probation that the person be confined in the county jail for 12 months.
If the court grants probation without requiring the defendant to be confined in the county jail for 12 months, it shall specify its reason or reasons for imposing a lesser penalty.”
Kidnapping - Explained
Kidnapping is defined under Penal Code 207 as taking or detaining another person someone against their will and then moving the victim a significant distance using force or fear.
For example, they were physically moving someone or threatening to harm them unless they cooperated and complied.
Suppose the kidnapping victim is under 14. In that case, the language in the definition is expanded by saying any person that “persuades, entices, decoys, or seduces by false promises” if the perpetrator has the intent to commit lewd or lascivious acts with the minor defined under Penal Code 288 PC.
Under this definition, this means you could be charged with PC 208(b) kidnapping a minor under 14 if the following factors are satisfied:
- You used force or threats to detain or move a minor under 14;
- You moved the minor a significant distance; or
- You enticed or persuaded them through deception or false pretenses to go with you intending to molest them sexually.
Suppose you are convicted of Penal Code 208(b) kidnapping a minor under 14. In that case, it's a felony with severe penalties, including five, eight, or 11 years in a California state prison.
California Penal Code 208(b) will not apply if you are the minor's biological parent, legal guardian, or adoptive parent. Simply put, you are not guilty of kidnapping under this statute if you forcibly detain and move a minor for whom you are legally responsible but could face charges under other laws.
What Are the Related Crimes?
Several California crimes are related to Penal Code 208b kidnapping a minor under 14, including the following:
- Penal Code 207 PC – kidnapping;
- Penal Code 209 PC – aggravated kidnapping;
- Penal Code 209.5 PC - kidnapping during carjacking;
- Penal Code 236 PC – false imprisonment;
- Penal Code 288 PC – lewd acts with a minor;
- Penal Code 278 PC – child abduction laws.
What Are the PC 208(b) Defenses?
Suppose you are accused of kidnapping a minor under 14. In that case, our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers can use various strategies to fight the charges, as discussed below.
Maybe we can argue that your actions did not rise to the definition of kidnapping. Maybe there was no force, fear, or threats to persuade the minor to come with you.
Maybe we can argue that there was a lack of intent to detain or hold them for ransom. Maybe there was never an intent to molest them, but other laws could be charged.
To convict you, the prosecutor must prove all the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Maybe we can challenge one or more of these crucial factors.
Maybe we can show that you had a legal right to move the minor. Perhaps we could argue that you are the victim of a false allegation by or mistaken identity.
Maybe we could negotiate with the prosecutor for reduced charges, case dismissal, or convince them prefiling not to file formal criminal charges (DA reject).
You can phone our criminal defense law firm or use the contact form to review the case details. We offer a free case consultation. Cron, Israels & Stark have offices in Los Angeles, CA.