Kidnapping is the crime of taking or transporting a person against his or her will. Sometimes people commit this crime for ransom or in furtherance of another crime, but most commonly it is in connection with a child custody dispute. Somebody can be charged with kidnapping for knowingly restraining another person with the intent to:
- Hold the victim for ransom, hostage or as a shield.
- Hold the victim for involuntary servitude.
- Inflict death, physical injury or a sexual offense on the victim.
- Aid in the commission of another felony.
Kidnapping in Arizona
In Arizona, kidnapping is sometimes labeled abduction when the victim is a woman. Similarly, kidnapping is sometimes labeled child stealing when the victim is a child, particularly when the kidnapper intends to permanently keep the child. In cases where a divorced parent without custody kidnaps his own child, it is referred to as “childnapping.”
Even if the child gives consent in one of these cases, a person can still be charged with kidnapping or child abduction for taking the child without first obtaining consent form the child’s legal guardian.
Arizona punishes kidnapping severely. Punishments for kidnapping include long prison sentences, probation, hefty fines, loss of custodial rights and much more. Arizona defendants must promptly obtain legal counsel if charged with kidnapping. With the help of a Mesa kidnapping attorney, it may be possible for defendants to have their charge reduced to the lesser crime of unlawful imprisonment.
Penalties for Kidnapping
In most cases kidnapping is considered a class 2 felony unless the victim is released unharmed and in a safe place prior to the defendants arrest.
If the victim is under 15 years old, then it is a class 2 felony and it is also considered a dangerous crime against a child so defendants can expect an even harsher punishment ranging from a minimum of 10 years in prison to 24 years total.
Possible Defenses for Kidnapping
Just physically restraining someone is not enough to warrant a kidnapping charge, so in most cases the best defensive move is to prove that the defendant was not trying to achieve any of the intentions listed under the kidnapping statute.
Need a Kidnapping Lawyer in Arizona?
Call our Criminal Defense team right away if you’ve been charged with kidnapping in Arizona. Our experienced lawyers will work with you to help minimize your sentencing and provide you with outstanding legal guidance.
Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to discuss your case today.