Custodial Interference by Relative
- Imprisonment in house of correction for no longer than one year, and/or
- By a maximum fine of $1,000.
- Maximum imprisonment in the state prison: 5 years, and/or
- Maximum fine of $5,000.
This crime is based on the contention that the defendant had no legal right or authority to take or hold the child for a period of time. Modern matters of wedlock and divorce raise a question as to who does in fact have a legal right. Massachusetts G.L. c. 208, § 31 provides that prior to the settlement of any controversy involving the custody of a child, both parents shall have equal legal custody. The legal custody of a child is reserved solely for the Mother in cases concerning the paternity of the child. Furthermore, a parent who has legal custody of a child can be charged with the crime of Custodial Interference by a Relative if that parent interferes with the visitation or joint custody rights of the other parent. Commonwealth v. Beals set forth that if there are no pending proceedings concerning the marriage, divorce, or custody of the child, a parent cannot be charged with this crime if one parent takes the child outside the limits of Massachusetts. If however, the parents are legally divorced, both parents must consent to the child leaving Massachusetts if the child is a resident of the Commonwealth, unless the court can show cause otherwise.
Adept Boston Area Criminal Defense Attorney
The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy is committed to the pursuit of justice in sensitive criminal matters. Criminal defense is becoming more sophisticated in response to the increasing prevalence of law enforcement and the tightening of control in this country. At all stages of the criminal proceedings, The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy provides a vigorous defense against charges such as Custodial Interference by a Relative. Attorney Murphy’s background in family law and child-related issues give The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy the clear advantage when providing criminal defense to his clients. Contact the Law Office of Attorney Patrick J. Murphy 24/7 for a free legal assessment of your case, by calling 617-367-0450 or completing the contacts tab on our website.