While the term itself may seem very misleading, kidnapping is not only about children being taken. Kidnapping is any incident where an individual is taken or moved to another location without their consent. This is not only limited to people you do not know; family members and close companions can be looked at as kidnappers if they take you anywhere without your permission? There are even strange instances where a parent can be charged with the kidnapping of their child, called parental kidnapping. This occurs when a parent that does not have legal custody of a child, takes a child without the other parents’ knowledge. While kidnapping is generally charged on a person that has taken someone by force, it is also considered kidnapping when you restrict someone from going place without their consent, such as:
- Holding a person hostage
- Keeping a person for ransom
- Any commission of a crime
- Terrorizing an individual
Kidnapping laws vary from state to state and is considered to be an extremely serious criminal offense in most cases. Some states may consider kidnapping to be holding someone hostage, while other states may only consider it to be kidnapping if someone is moved and relocated against their will. A kidnap charge becomes a federal offense when you take a person across state lines without their consent.
There are several consequences that follow a kidnapping conviction, such as:
- Jail or Prison Time
- Death penalty
- House arrest
There are several factors considered when a judge decides to sentence a defendant for kidnapping. The judge will consider your criminal background, what may have encouraged the act, and if the kidnapping led to other criminal offenses such as rape or even murder.
No matter how extreme the offense is, there are always defenses available to a defendant, that maybe only an attorney will understand. Due to the seriousness of a kidnapping charge, it is best to speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as you are made aware of a kidnapping charge being made. The right Decatur criminal lawyer will be able to use their education and understanding of the criminal offense and the facts of the case to build your defense and assist in getting you the best outcome possible. There is no guarantee that this will be an easy case to fight in court, but it is nearly impossible to fight alone.
Thanks to Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into criminal defense and DUI offenses.