A Kidnapping was defined as a crime that involves forcibly abducting someone and carrying him/her to another country. Today kidnapping happens when someone forcibly confines another person against their will. Kidnapping is a severe charge and can bring significant penalties. All states classify kidnapping as a felony offense, but states have different degrees of felonies that have different sentences associated with them. More severe penalties are given when the victim is a child or if the victim was injured, exposed to danger or sexually assaulted. If you have been arrested for this crime and want to find a solution for your case, read more.
Here are some of the elements involved in kidnapping charges
Confinement, taking or restraint
A kidnapping occurs when someone intentionally abducts, takes, confines or restrains another person. In many states, an offender must confine the victim with the intention to:
- Use a person to escape
- Inflict bodily harm
- Use a person as a shield
- Hold a person for ransom
- Take a person as an involuntary servant
- Hold the person to disrupt political or government activities
Movement of the victim
Several states require that the kidnapping victim must be moved to a substantial distance. For example, moving a person from one house to another house across the street is enough. However, other states don’t require movement of the victim to charge an offender with kidnapping.
Many states separate this crime into different degrees or levels of severity. A charge of first-degree kidnapping, sometimes known as aggravated kidnapping and it usually requires that the accused sexually assault, physically harms, or expose the victim to a grave risk of injury. A second-degree charge doesn’t involve sexual, violent assault or exposing the victim to harm.
Force and threats
Using the threat of violence that might instill fear is also considered a use of strength.
The federal government can prosecute someone for kidnapping if the kidnapping crosses state lines. So, this means that you can be charged with both federal and state offenses.
Kidnapping laws and penalties
- Prison: Kidnapping convictions can come with lengthy sentences, including life sentences and some situations and states. Sentences of 20 years of more are common for first degree or aggravated kidnapping, but there are minimum sentences of five years or more for second-degree kidnapping.
- Fines: Fines for kidnapping offenses are imposed in addition to prison sentences. Aggravated kidnapping convictions can come with fines of $50,000 or more, and simple kidnapping can come with fines of $10,000 or more.
- Probation: Probation sentences for kidnapping convictions usually last several years and sometimes, as much as ten years. Typical probation condition includes meeting regularly with a probation officer, not committing any more crimes, asking the officer of court’s permission before traveling or moving out of the state, and not associating with known criminals.
Kidnapping is one of the most several criminal offenses that a person can be charged. Being convicted of kidnapping will bring significant criminal penalties and also will cripple your future chances at employment. This video explains the penalties for the type of kidnapping committed.