In many jurisdictions, kidnapping is defined as the unlawful act of taking an individual away from their current location. This act is committed either by fraud or force and done without the victim's consent. Kidnapping is a crime regardless of whether the victim is kidnapped by a family member or stranger. 

How Is Kidnapping Defined in Georgia?

Kidnapping is defined as abducting or stealing away another individual without any lawful warrant or authority to hold them against their will.

What If I Did Not Actually Take the Victim Anywhere?

You may still be guilty of kidnapping if your actions otherwise constitute kidnapping. Only a slight movement is good enough to be considered kidnapping so long as the slight movement is not merely incidental to committing another crime.

When Is Kidnapping Not Incidental to Another Crime?

A kidnapping is considered to not be merely incidental to the commission of another crime if the kidnapping:

  • Isolates or conceals the victim
  • Makes committing the other crime significantly easier
  • Is committed to avoid apprehension
  • Lessens the risk of being detected

Are False Imprisonment and Kidnapping the Same Offense in Georgia?

No. In Georgia, false imprisonment occurs when a person confines, detains, or arrests an individual without legal authority to do so. The perpetrator makes no effort to conceal or hide the victim. Kidnapping occurs when the person abducts or takes another without legal authority or consent.

What Is the Penalty for Kidnapping in Georgia?

The penalty that a person may face for kidnapping depends on the victim’s age and whether there are aggravating factors. If convicted of kidnapping someone 14 years old or older, the defendant will face a punishment of 10 to 20 years in prison. The penalty for kidnapping a minor under the age of 14 is:

  • 25 years to life in prison
  • Probation for life following the prison sentence if the prison sentence is less than life

The aggravating factors for a kidnapping sentence are holding the victim for ransom and causing the victim to suffer a bodily injury. If either of these aggravating factors are present, then the punishment is life imprisonment or the death penalty.

Do I Need an Attorney for Help with My Kidnapping Charge in Georgia?

Kidnapping is an incredibly serious crime, and it comes with a serious criminal penalty. Contact a Georgia attorney for help immediately to start working on your case.