What is the punishment for child abduction?

Child abduction is a serious criminal offence and can result in a maximum penalty of seven years’ imprisonment. However, it’s important to note that anything the abductor does to the child can add to the sentence they receive.

Child abduction is an either-way offence. An either-way offence can be heard at either the Magistrate’s Court or the Crown Court.

  1. The Magistrate’s Court is a criminal court for typically less severe offences. Examples of these offences are trespassing and public disturbance. 
  2. The Crown Court handles more severe cases. Examples of these serious offences include murder and manslaughter.

The type and severity of the abduction case determine which court a child abduction case will go to.

One of Britton and Times criminal defence solicitors working on a child abduction case
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