Under the California Penal Code 207, 208, 209 and 209.5 PC, kidnapping is a serious offense that is classified as “moving a victim a substantial distance, using force and/or fear in order to do so”. Some examples of what could be classified as kidnapping are:
- Holding a person at gunpoint with the demand of relocating
- Threatening to harm a family member if victim does not relocate with defendant
- Tying up a victim and demanding family to pay a ransom
Aggravated kidnapping is a type of kidnapping that is more serious than the original crime. It is classified as moving another person with:
- Accompany the kidnapping with a petition for monetary ransom
- Use force, fear and upon a child victim under the age of 14 years old
- Causes the victim bodily harm or possible death
- Violating numerous laws that are in relation to kidnapping
- Kidnapping a victim whilst in violation of Penal Code 125 PC California’s carjacking law
The conviction of aggravated assault may land a defendant with a conviction with life in prison.
There are several penalties that may be executed if convicted of a kidnapping crime.
- If the kidnapping victim is a minor younger than 14 years of age and is not the victim’s parent or guardian, the term of incarceration will increase 5, 8 or 11 years
- A conviction of kidnap results in 3, 5 or 8 years in state prison
- If the court does not have a requirement for probation, it must clarify the interests of justice as to why there is a less harsh penalty
- If murder or an additional crime occurs during a kidnapping, prosecuting attorneys may charge defendant with an additional crime of first degree murder whilst utilizing the “felony-murder rule”
- A conviction of murder for a homicide that occurred during a kidnapping may result in a life sentence without parole or possibly the death penalty
- If California approves the probation request for the defendant, the state’s law mandates incarceration in county jail for 12 months
There are several options for legal defense if a defendant obtains the right counsel. For example, the alleged victim was in consent to being relocated, the defendant was wrongly accused of the kidnapping, defendant was “merely present” at the time of the kidnapping, insufficient movement to qualify as kidnapping, insufficient evidence altogether, and defendant is parent of the victim with rights to travel. The defense of being the victim’s parent is not eligible if parent does not have custody or legal guardianship over the child.
For all the listed reasons, it is important to have great attorneys on your side. The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong come equipped with the best lawyers in order to represent and defend the accused on all kidnapping crime convictions. The talent of the lawyers is apparent due to the sensitive nature of these cases and the special attention each defendant receives throughout this tedious process.