Criminal Defense Attorneys Defending People Who Have Been Accused of Kidnapping
Kidnapping criminal charges are cover under California Penal Code Section 207. It's considered a violent crime and defined as using force or fear to take another individual a substantial distance against their will.
Legally, the terms “force or fear” means the defendant inflicted physical force on the victim or just threaten to inflict physical harm.
In California, there are different versions of kidnapping, depending on the specific circumstances.
These include kidnapping for ransom, kidnapping to commit a robbery, rape, or oral copulation, and kidnapping during a carjacking crime.
Aggravated kidnapping charges can be filed when the defendant moves another individual without their consent by:
- use of force or fear, and
- the alleged victim is a minor under 14 years old,
- held for ransom,
- they suffer bodily harm or death, or
- the kidnapping occurred during a carjacking.
Kidnapping charges could also be investigated as a federal crime under the jurisdiction of both California state and federal law enforcement agents. See our blog: When Does Kidnapping Become a Federal Crime?
If you have been accused of kidnapping, you should immediately consult with a Los Angeles kidnapping attorney from our law firm. Our defense lawyers need to thoroughly review all the circumstances and evidence in order to start building an effective defense strategy.
Kidnapping – CA Penal Code 207 – Elements of the Crime
In order for the Los Angeles County prosecutor to obtain a conviction, they must prove the following elements of the crime beyond any reasonable doubt:
- The defendant actually took or detained another individual by using force or fear
- The defendant actually moved the individual a substantial distance
- The alleged victim did not give consent or want to be moved
- The defendant did not reasonably believe the alleged victim consented to be moved
The jury can consider all the factors and circumstances in order to determine if the victim was moved a substantial distance.
The determination on whether or not the movement was substantial can depend on a variety of different factors, including the distance moved, whether the actual movement increased the risk of any harm to the victim, and whether or not the movement of the victim decreased the chances of being caught.
In some cases, you could be charged as being an accomplice, even if you did not directly commit the kidnapping. See our blog: What is Aiding and Abetting in California?
Speak with a Los Angeles kidnapping defense lawyer at our law office in order to determine if the specific details of your violent crime case can be considered a kidnapping offense.
Legal Penalties for a Kidnapping Conviction
A kidnapping conviction in Los Angeles County can lead to harsh consequences, depending on the specific circumstances of the case. If a defendant is convicted of simple felony kidnapping charges, they could receive a sentence of up to eight years in a California state prison and a $10,000 fine.
If convicted of aggravated kidnapping charges, they could face up to eleven years in a state prison if they victim was under 14 years old or a sentence of life with the possibility of parole if the victim was kidnapped for ransom or reward, to commit extortion, robbery, or various California sex crimes.
Both simple and aggravated kidnapping convictions are considered serious or violent crime felony charges. This means a conviction would count as a “strike” under California's three strikes law.
See related: California's 10-20-Life Gun Sentencing Enhancement. Call a Los Angeles kidnapping lawyer at our law firm for more information.
Related Kidnapping Cases in Los Angeles County
There are a variety of criminal offenses that may be charged in connection with kidnapping charges. They include:
- Kidnapping during a carjacking - California Penal Code Section 209.5
- Kidnapping in connection with extortion - California Penal Code Section 210
- False imprisonment law - California Penal Code Section 236
- False imprisonment to protect from arrest - California Penal Code Section 210.5
- Child abduction laws - California Penal Code Section 278
- Deprivation of a child custody order - California Penal Code Section 278.5
- Gang enhancement law - California Penal Code 186.22
Legal Defenses against Kidnapping Charges
An experienced Los Angeles kidnapping attorney at our law firm can use a variety of legal defenses to have the charges reduced to a lesser crime or even dismissed. Our lawyers may be able to prove in court the alleged victim gave consent to be moved or the victim was not moved a substantial distance.
Our criminal defense attorneys may be able to prove the defendant was not the actual kidnapper, but was only present during the kidnapping offense and was not aware of a plan to commit kidnapping.
Our attorneys may be able to show there is insufficient evidence or the kidnapping accusations are false. In the defendant was accused of parental kidnapping, our lawyers may be able to prove the defendant had legal travel rights with their children.
Get Legal Help by Calling a Los Angeles Kidnapping Defense Attorney
The legal consequences of a kidnapping conviction can be severe and even considered a federal crime.
Your Los Angeles kidnapping lawyer should have extensive experience in both state and federal court to have the best chance of a favorable outcome.
At Eisner Gorin LLP, our criminal defense lawyers have a long history of success defending individuals against any type of violent crime accusations.
We understand the serious nature of these allegations and how to build a strong legal defense on your behalf.
Call our law office to speak with one of our skilled lawyers and go over the details of your case. We are available for an immediate response by call 877-781-1570.