A man and woman wanted for custodial interference were finally apprehended recently by authorities with aide from the Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force. The couple is being charged with first degree and second degree custodial interference, charges stemming from an October violation when they had illegally taken their seven-year-old daughter from the possession of the Department of Human Services Child Welfare, according to the Mail Tribune.
Domestic Violence, Including Strangulation Charges
Earlier in the year, the couple’s daughter had been placed in the Department of Human Services Child Welfare, then later placed in the care of her mother. However, the conditions were such that the father could not make contact with the girl. The girl’s mother missed a court appearance, at which point the state put the girl in the custody of a relative. That same day, on October 5th, the father was arrested on two felony charges (strangulation and coercion), as well as three misdemeanors (strangulation, harassment, and fourth-degree assault). The confrontation occurred in the presence of the couple’s daughter. The father, while strangling the mother, shoved his daughter to the ground when she attempted to aid her mother. Earlier in that same year, the father had performed other counts of domestic violence.
Domestic Strangulation is a Third Degree Felony in Florida
According to Florida statute 784.041, “A person commits domestic battery by strangulation if the person knowingly and intentionally, against the will of another, impedes the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of a family or household member or of a person with whom he or she is in a dating relationship, so as to create a risk of or cause great bodily harm by applying pressure on the throat or neck of the other person or by blocking the nose or mouth of the other person.” Domestic strangulation carries a third degree felony charge, punishable by up to five years in prison.
Custodial Interference is Also a Third Degree Felony
The parents are also facing charges of custodial interference, defined by Florida statute 787.03 as, “Whoever, without lawful authority, knowingly or recklessly takes or entices, or aids, abets, hires, or otherwise procures another to take or entice, any minor or any incompetent person from the custody of the minor’s or incompetent person’s parent, his or her guardian, a public agency having the lawful charge of the minor or incompetent person, or any other lawful custodian commits the offense of interference with custody and commits a felony of the third degree.” As such, even parents can be charged with custodial interference, as in this case the guardianship had fallen to the Department of Human Services Child Welfare and one of the child’s relatives. This third degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison for each charge.
Contact a West Palm Beach Custodial Interference or Domestic Violence Defense Attorney Today
Whether you have been charged with domestic battery, domestic strangulation, or custodial interference, you need to go over your options for defense with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Call the West Palm Beach attorneys of the Skier Law Firm today at (561) 220-3355.