There are several scenarios where a person could be charged with a kidnapping when, in fact, it was a simple misunderstanding between estranged or divorced parents. One parent takes a child for the weekend and handles getting the child back to the parent with legal custody at the right time.
Yet, things can go wrong such as a flat tire on the car in a rural area and the parent’s cell phone has no charge or reception at the point where the car was stopped. The car also does not have tools for changing the tire. It can get messy very quickly if the police are called to go search for the missing parent and child, with the premise that the child has been kidnapped.
If there is acrimony between the parents, then the parent with custody may go ahead with the charge to deny you visiting rights, or worse. You will need a good defense attorney to help you get out of trouble, and it helps if you have witnesses who stopped to help you change that tire.
California laws are very strict on parental kidnapping and, in this scenario, you may get three, five, or eight years in jail. If you can prove that what you say about what happened is true, then you may not even need to go to court. But you will need an attorney to help you with getting that done.
Another scenario is that of a young person who carjacks a vehicle and drives off, then finds there is a young child hiding on the floorboard of the back seat. The situation has just escalated monumentally to aggravated kidnapping. The young person, now considered a criminal, may end up with life in prison under California’s Penal Code 125 PC. If you, as the young person, find yourself in this situation, you need a good defense attorney to help you with reducing the charges.
- whereby a person moves another person under force or makes them fearful enough to comply,
- victim is threatened with harm to be committed on another family member if the victim does not comply,
- ties up victim and demands ransom from family or other concerned close persons.
The penalties for kidnapping can be three, five or eight years in state prison, or there may be a lesser penalty of probation, for up to a year in jail. Probation, as defined by the ruling court in the case, may decide another solution, but must give a reason for the lesser penalty.
When the victim was under 14 years old, the penalty can be five, eight, or 11 years, so long as the perpetrator is not a parent or guardian. First-degree murder of a kidnapping victim, means the “felony-murder rule” is applied and may lead to life in prison without parole, or a penalty of death.
Call us if you have been accused of kidnapping! 619-234-2300 or contact us online.