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Kidnapping Charges

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What is Kidnapping?

Kidnapping occurs when someone moves another person without their consent by using restraint, force, violence, or threat of violence. In order to be guilty the following elements have to be true:

  • You moved that person a substantial distance
  • You did so without that person’s consent
  • You used force, fear, or fraud to move this person

Aggravated Kidnapping

A kidnapping charge increases to aggravated kidnapping when fraud is used to move a person and one of the following circumstances are true:

  • The person kidnapped is a child under the age of 14
  • The victim is held for ransom
  • The victim suffers bodily harm or death
  • Another person is kidnapped during a carjacking


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Penalties for Kidnapping

Kidnapping is a serious offense and holds harsh penalties. If it is a simple kidnapping (not aggravated) then the penalties include:

  • Incarceration time
  • A maximum fine of $10,000

Penalties for aggravated kidnapping are more severe and include:

  • Enhanced incarceration time if the victim was under the age of 14 at the time of the kidnapping
  • Life in prison with the possibility of parole if the person kidnapped for ransom, a reward, extortion, robbery, certain sex crimes, carjacking.

If the victim is killed or suffers bodily harm, or is placed in a situation where death is likely to occur, you could face life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Kidnapping is a serious and violent felony so it also counts as a strike against you under California’s Three Strikes Law.

Legal Defenses for Kidnapping

If the alleged victim consented to be moved then you aren’t guilty of kidnapping. It becomes kidnapping if the alleged victim decides they want to go home and you continue to take that person somewhere else against their will.

In order to be guilty of kidnapping, the victim has to be moved a substantial distance. A slight or trivial distance wouldn’t be kidnapping.

If you were just present during the kidnapping and nothing to do with or knew that it was going to happen, then you can’t be charged with kidnapping.

If someone accused you of kidnapping but there’s no evidence to support it, then it becomes a he said/she said case. If there’s no proof it makes it hard for prosecutors to win.

If you are the legal guardian of a child, then you are allowed to travel with your child. You don’t have to get the other legal guardian’s permission to travel with the child.

If you take a child under the age of 14 in order to protect him or her from imminent danger or harm, then that is not kidnapping.

Have you been legally accused of committing kidnapping? If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, it is essential to obtain legal council for help. It’s important to take your charges seriously. Don’t just hope for the best. Hire an attorney who understands your situation and the consequences you face.

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Phone: 559-691-6222

Your Defense Attorney for Kidnapping Charges

I’m Mark A. Broughton and I’m here to fight for you. I have been a defense Attorney for 40+ years and have represented thousands of people accused of crimes. I have extensive experience representing citizens charged with Felonies, Sex Crimes, Rape, Kidnapping, Prostitution/Solicitation, and Juvenile Crimes to name a few.

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