Kidnapping Lawyers

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What Is Kidnapping?

Kidnapping is an unlawful act or an instance of taking a person without consent, by force or fraud. Kidnappings can occur by family members, as well as strangers.

A parent who does not have legal custody of a child can be convicted of kidnapping. When a parent takes a child without the other parent’s consent, it is considered parental kidnapping.

It is also considered kidnapping when a person has confined another person without his/her consent for a substantial period of time if any of the following five (5) criteria met:

Is Kidnapping a State or Federal Offense?

Under federal law, kidnapping can be a serious felony offense, with prison sentences of 20 or more years depending on the felon's criminal history. Kidnapping can be a state or federal offense depending upon the circumstances:

What Can Happen if You Are Convicted of Kidnapping?

Kidnapping is a serious offense and one can face many harsh penalties if convicted of a kidnapping charge. Some penalties for a kidnapping conviction may be:

What Factors Influence the Sentence Imposed?

External factors such as your criminal record, current criminal status, and how a judge and/or jury views these crimes will influence the sentence for kidnapping. Any aggravating factors may also impact the sentence. For example, the purpose of the kidnapping is important. If the kidnapping was does as a means towards murder, rape, or carjacking, then the sentence will certainly go up.

What Are the Defenses To a Kidnapping Charge?

There are a number of defenses to kidnapping:

What is the Difference between Kidnapping and False Imprisonment?

Kidnapping is simply the act of moving another person against their consent. False imprisonment is the act of detaining someone and preventing that person from leaving. Although kidnapping often results in false imprisonment, it is possible to be kidnapped without being falsely imprisoned.

False imprisonment is also a tort claim under civil law; a victim of false imprisonment can sue the defendant in civil court to recover money for being false imprisoned. A person accused of false imprisonment can be punished by the state for criminal false imprisonment and sued by the victim for damages. Kidnapping, on the other hand, is mostly a criminal violation without a parallel civil claim. There is typically no victim compensation in civil law for kidnapping.

What Can You Do If You Have Been Accused of Kidnapping?

If you have been charged with a kidnapping charge, contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately. Kidnapping is a felony and carries serious consequences. An experienced state or federal criminal defense specialist can help explain your defenses and options.

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Last Modified: 07-09-2015 09:42 PM PDT

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