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Georgia Code - Crimes and Offenses - Title 16, Section 16-5-45

Legal Research Home > Georgia Laws > Crimes and Offenses > Georgia Code - Crimes and Offenses - Title 16, Section 16-5-45

(a) As used in this Code section, the term:

(1) 'Child' means any individual who is under the age of 17 years or any individual who is under the age of 18 years who is alleged to be a deprived child as such is defined in Code Section 15-11-2, relating to juvenile proceedings.

(2) 'Committed person' means any child or other person whose custody is entrusted to another individual by authority of law.

(3) 'Lawful custody' means that custody inherent in the natural parents, that custody awarded by proper authority as provided in Code Section 15-11-45, or that custody awarded to a parent, guardian, or other person by a court of competent jurisdiction.

(b)(1) A person commits the offense of interference with custody when without lawful authority to do so the person:

(A) Knowingly or recklessly takes or entices any child or committed person away from the individual who has lawful custody of such child or committed person;

(B) Knowingly harbors any child or committed person who has absconded; or

(C) Intentionally and willfully retains possession within this state of the child or committed person upon the expiration of a lawful period of visitation with the child or committed person.

(2) A person convicted of the offense of interference with custody shall be punished as follows:

(A) Upon conviction of the first offense, the defendant shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than $200.00 nor more than $500.00 or shall be imprisoned for not less than one month nor more than five months, or both fined and imprisoned;

(B) Upon conviction of the second offense, the defendant shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than $400.00 nor more than $1,000.00 or shall be imprisoned for not less than three months nor more than 12 months, or both fined and imprisoned; and

(C) Upon the conviction of the third or subsequent offense, the defendant shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.

(c)(1) A person commits the offense of interstate interference with custody when without lawful authority to do so the person knowingly or recklessly takes or entices any minor or committed person away from the individual who has lawful custody of such minor or committed person and in so doing brings such minor or committed person into this state or removes such minor or committed person from this state.

(2) A person also commits the offense of interstate interference with custody when the person removes a minor or committed person from this state in the lawful exercise of a visitation right and, upon the expiration of the period of lawful visitation, intentionally retains possession of the minor or committed person in another state for the purpose of keeping the minor or committed person away from the individual having lawful custody of the minor or committed person. The offense is deemed to be committed in the county to which the minor or committed person was to have been returned upon expiration of the period of lawful visitation.

(3) A person convicted of the offense of interstate interference with custody shall be guilty of a felony and shall be imprisoned for not less than one year nor more than five years.

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Last modified: April 21, 2006