If you have been charged with kidnapping it is important to know what your rights and legal options are. Depending on the details of your charges you could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted. This is a time to make sure you are being represented with the best legal guidance possible. Contact a criminal defense attorney from our firm to get started on a strategy for your defense today.
New York Penal Code §135: Kidnapping Defined
Kidnapping is defined under §135 of New York Penal Law. Kidnapping in the second degree is considered to be a class B felony and is defined simply as the abduction of another person. Kidnapping in the first degree (a class A-I felony), however, is a little more complicated. To be proven guilty of kidnapping in the first degree, it must be proven that the defendant had abducted another person with the intention to compel another person to pay for the return of the abducted – this is known as a ransom. It must also be proven that that the defendant had restrained the abducted for more than twelve hours and intended to do the following:
- Inflict physical injury / sexually abuse;
- Advance the commission of a felonious act;
- Terrorize the abducted or another person; or
- Interfere with government or politics
The final element that must be proven is that the abducted person had either died during the commission of the kidnapping or before they were able to be returned to safety. If there is no concrete evidence to prove this, it may be presumed if after the kidnapping was completed, there was no sign to prove them still alive. It is a defense under §135.30 that the abductor had been a relative of the abducted and was solely attempting to gain control of the person – not cause harm, fear or interfere with any government activities.
Can kidnapping me a federal offense?
In some cases, kidnapping will be tried on the federal level, as opposed to being a state offense. In these cases, the crime is tried under 18 U.S.C. §1201, also known as the Federal Kidnapping Act. Under this law, the federal government outlines that it is a criminal act to "seize, confine, inveigle, decoy, kidnap, abduct or carry away" a person with the intention to receive a ransom.
If two or more people are involved with this act, it could also be concurrently tried as conspiracy. Penalties for the federal offense of kidnapping include imprisonment for twenty years. However, if the victim is a child and the kidnapper is not a blood relative or does not have legal custody over the child, the penalty will be a
minimum of twenty years instead of the maximum.
When is kidnapping a federal
offense? In most cases, kidnapping will be tried by the state government, unless the abducted has been transferred either interstate or internationally. In these cases, it will fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government and become their responsibility to prosecute.
Get the involvement of an experienced lawyer!
If you have been accused of kidnapping – no matter whether on a state or federal level – you need an aggressive attorney who will step up to fight for your rights. At Perez & Cedeño, we know the penalties that are at stake in these cases are not mild, they are life-altering. We will therefore stop at nothing in our efforts to provide a comprehensive defense that will adequately protect your legal rights.
You will be able to rest assured knowing that you will have a heavyweight in you corner fighting for you. So don't waste a moment! At our firm, we are proud to make ourselves available 24/7 because we know that legal issues will rarely occur at a convenient hour. If you would like to talk to someone immediately, just give us a call at 646-770-0989 to take advantage of our 24 hour arrest and arraignment hotline. If you would rather send us a message directly, just use our online form.