Interference With Child Custody

Chapter 25 of the Texas Penal Code places restrictions and guidelines on offenses dealing with the family.

“Interference with Child Custody as per § 25.03 of the Texas Penal Code, occurs when a person takes or retains a child younger than 18 years of age:

  • when the person knows that the person's taking or retention violates the express terms of a judgment or order, including a temporary order, of a court disposing of the child's custody;
  • when the person has not been awarded custody of the child by a court of competent jurisdiction, knows that a suit for divorce or a civil suit or application for habeas corpus to dispose of the child's custody has been filed, and takes the child out of the geographic area of the counties composing the judicial district if the court is a district court or the county if the court is a statutory county court, without the permission of the court and with the intent to deprive the court of authority over the child; or
  • outside of the United States with the intent to deprive a person entitled to possession of or access to the child of that possession or access and without the permission of that person.

An offense under this section is a state jail felony.

Punishment Range

State Jail Felony

  • Confinement in a state jail for not more than two years and not less than 180 days
  • In addition to confinement, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000

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