Kidnapping Lawyers

Authored by , LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

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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.

When a parent takes a child without the other parent’s consent, it is considered parental 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.

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?

Kidnapping can be a state or federal offense depending upon the circumstances:

What Can Happen if You Are Convicted of Kidnapping?

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.

Are There Any 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 or vice versa.

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 Someone You Know Has Been Kidnapped?

Contact the appropriate authorities immediately. Depending on the circumstances of the kidnapping, either state police or the FBI will help you.

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

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: 11-29-2012 11:05 AM PST

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