Interference with custody is a crime that occurs in three ways in Georgia:

  • Intentionally and willfully keeping a child or committed person beyond the lawful period of their visitation
  • Knowingly harboring any child or committed person who runs away from their parent, legal custodian, or guardian
  • Recklessly or knowingly taking or enticing any committed or child away from the individual who has lawful custody

Who Is Considered a Child in Georgia?

A child is anyone under 17 years old. If an individual is under legal custody of the court, then they are still considered a child if they are under the age of 18.

What Is a Committed Person?

A committed person is anyone under legal custody of another individual. The person can be a child or an adult. Thus, there is not an age limit on who is a committed person like there is with a child.

What Is the Penalty for a First or Second Conviction for Custody Interference?

Both the first and second convictions of interference with custody are misdemeanors. The punishment for a first conviction is a $200 to $500 fine and one to five months in county jail. A second conviction for interfering with custody comes with a more serious punishment than a first conviction. That punishment consists of a three to 12 months in county jail and a $400 to $1,000 fine.

What If This Is My Third Time Being Charge with Custody Interference?

If a person is convicted of interfering with another person’s custody more than twice, then any and all subsequent convictions are felonies. The punishment for a felony custody interference is one to five years in prison.

Should I Get an Attorney for Help with My Custody Interference Case?

Yes. If you are accused of custody interference, seek the help of a Georgia criminal attorney. The attorney will help you determine how to fight your case and avoid the costly penalties.