Code of the District of Columbia

§ 16–1024. Penalties.

(a) A person who violates any provision of § 16-1022 and who takes the child to a place within the District, or detains or conceals the child within the District of Columbia is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to fine not exceeding $250 or performance of community service not exceeding 240 hours, or both.

(b) A person who violates any provision of § 16-1022 and who takes the child to a place outside the District or detains or conceals the child outside the District shall be punished as follows:

(1) If the child is out of the custody of the lawful custodian for not more than 30 days, the person is guilty of a felony and on conviction is subject to a fine not more than the amount set forth in [§ 22-3571.01] or imprisonment for 6 months, or both, except that if the person releases the child without injury in a safe place prior to arrest, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $250, or performance of community service not exceeding 240 hours, or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days, or a combination of all three.

(2) If the child is out of the custody of the lawful custodian for more than 30 days, the person is guilty of a felony and on conviction is subject to a fine of not more than the amount set forth in [§ 22-3571.01] or imprisonment for 1 year, or both, except that if the person releases the child without injury in a safe place prior to arrest, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and, on conviction, is subject to a fine not more than the amount set forth in [§ 22-3571.01] or imprisonment not exceeding 60 days, or both.


(May 23, 1986, D.C. Law 6-115, § 5, 33 DCR 2424; May 10, 1989, D.C. Law 7-231, § 25(e), 36 DCR 492; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 281(b), 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1024.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 23-563.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “not more than the amount set forth in [§ 22-3571.01]” for “not exceeding $1,000” in (b)(1); and in (b)(2), substituted “of not more than the amount set forth in [§ 22-3571.01]” for “not exceeding $5,000”, and substituted “not more than the amount set forth in [§ 22-3571.01]” for “not exceeding $500”.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 281(b) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.