Los Angeles Kidnapping Lawyer
Kidnapping in California is considered a "strike" under California's Three Strikes Law; meaning that if convicted of kidnapping, you could be sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole if you have a previous criminal record. One of the most serious crimes in California, kidnapping includes the acts of taking, holding, or detaining another person by fear or force and moving that person against his or her will to another location. Consequently, if charged with or under investigation for kidnapping, you need to contact an experienced California kidnapping criminal defense lawyer. A criminal defense attorney can assist you with your legal options after a kidnapping arrest and help you navigate through the California criminal justice system to obtain the best possible outcome for your situation.
Dictated by Penal Code Sections 207, 208, 209, 209.5 and 278, kidnapping is classified as summarized below.
- Simple Kidnapping – Forcibly instilling fear, taking, holding, stealing, detaining or arresting another and transporting another person in another part of the county, another county, state or country. This is a felony punishable by three, five, or eight years in prison. When the victim is less than 14, the kidnapper can serve five, eight or eleven years in prison.
- Aggravated Kidnapping – Situations that include kidnapping for extortion, ransom, reward, to commit a sex crime or robbery. This is a felony, punishable by life in prison with the possibility of parole. If the kidnapping victim sustains harm or is killed, the punishment is life in prison without the possibility of parole.
- A Carjacking Kidnapping – When someone is kidnapped during a carjacking incident. This is a felony that can result in a life sentence with a possibility of parole.
- Extortion through Posing as a Kidnapper – When someone pretends to be a kidnapper to extort money or some other valuable possession. This is a felony punishable by two, three or four years in prison.
- Parental Kidnapping – A kidnapping charge that is in play when a person who doesn't have custody rights to a child, maliciously keeps, entices, takes, withholds, or conceals a child with an intent to conceal or detain the child from his or her lawful custodial; this can be either a felony or a misdemeanor. If charged as a misdemeanor, parental kidnapping can result in one year in prison; if charged as a felony parental kidnapping can result in two to five years in prison.
The severity of penalties for kidnapping varies depending upon the circumstances of the offense. Many times a kidnapping case is deemed a "strike" and a violent felony. Consequently, a convicted kidnapper must serve at a minimum 85 percent of his or her sentence before being released. If a person is subsequently charged with another felony, his or her sentence for the new offense is doubled because of the previous kidnapping conviction, a strike conviction. Once two strikes are reached, if a third felony conviction occurs, the defendant can be sentenced to 25 years to life as punishment.
Possible Defenses for Kidnapping in California
Possible defenses for a kidnapping case include:
- Lack of intent
- Insufficient evidence
- Mistaken identity
- Lack of physical evidence
- A showing of being legally entrusted with the custody of the kidnapped person
- Evidence that parents separated without a legal decree.
R.J. Manuelian is a California Defense Attorney Experienced in Defense of Kidnapping Defendants
If you are charged with kidnapping, you want to seek representation from a California criminal defense attorney who understands the criminal justice system and who can formulate a strategy that leads to the most positive outcome available to you. R.J Manuelian goes the extra mile to investigate cases of kidnapping in pursuit of facts that might be leveraged to dismiss your kidnapping case. If such evidence is not discovered, he will attempt to undermine the prosecution's case with a strong defense or negotiate a plea bargain on your behalf with the goal of obtaining the most positive outcome possible.