ACLU-PA Position: Opposes
HB 488 (PN 451) would create a new offense under 18 Pa C.S. § 4304 for failure to report a missing child. If a parent, guardian, or other person supervising a child under 18 years old fails to report the child missing after 24 hours, they could be charged with a third-degree felony.
HB 488 creates a new, duplicative offense nearly indistinguishable from current statute. Creating duplicative offenses risks creating new crimes that may be selectively and/or disproportionately enforced and arms prosecutors with a separate offense to charge and stack, threatening defendants with a felony in addition to the penalties for any other offenses charged.