California Kidnapping and Child Abduction Laws: What You Need to Know
Kidnapping and child abduction are serious criminal offenses in California.
You could face years in prison and heavy fines if you are convicted of kidnapping or child abduction. Therefore, knowing what constitutes kidnapping under California law and the potential penalties if you are convicted is essential.
In this blog post, we will discuss kidnapping cases in California and how they work. We will also explore the punishment for kidnapping convictions in California.
What is Kidnapping Under California Law?
According to California Penal Code §207, kidnapping is defined as taking another person by force or fraud or holding another person against their will.
Every person who forcibly, or by any other means of instilling fear, steals or takes, or holds, detains, or arrests any person in this state and carries the person into another country, state, or county, or into another part of the same county, is guilty of kidnapping.
Recruiting, enticing, deceiving, or seducing a minor under the age of 14 by false promises, misrepresentations, or other deceptions to go out of the country, state, or county is considered kidnapping if they do so for a purpose listed under Penal Code Section 288.
Penal Code Section 288 is the California law section that covers bigamy, incest, and the crime against nature.
Kidnapping can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances of the case.
If you are convicted of kidnapping, you could face up to eight years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. If the victim is a child under 14 years old, you could face up to 11 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000.
What is Aggravated Kidnapping? (Penal Code 209)
Aggravated kidnapping is a more severe form of kidnapping. It is defined as kidnapping for the purpose of:
Child Abduction; or
This crime is a felony offense that carries a potential sentence of life in prison. For example, if you are convicted of aggravated kidnapping, and the victim was under 14 years old, you face a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
What is Kidnapping During a Carjacking? (Penal Code 209.5)
In some cases, a kidnapping charge may be enhanced to include a carjacking charge. If you kidnap someone during the act of carjacking, you can be charged with kidnapping during a carjacking.
This is a serious felony offense that carries a potential sentence of life in prison.
What is Kidnapping in Connection with Extortion? (Penal Code 210)
If you kidnap someone with the intent to extort money or something of value from that person, you can be charged with kidnapping in connection with extortion.
This is a felony offense that carries a potential sentence of up to eight years in prison.
What is False Imprisonment? (Penal Code 236)
False imprisonment is a related offense to kidnapping. It is defined as the unlawful restraint of another person against their will. This act can be done by physical force, intimidation, or deception.
False imprisonment is usually charged as a felony, and you could face up to three years in prison if you’re convicted. In addition, if the victim was a child under the age of 14, you could face up to eight years in prison.
What is Child Abduction? (Penal Code Section 278)
According to Penal Code Section 278, anyone who maliciously removes entices away, keeps, withholds, or secures any kid intending to detain or hide that person from a lawful guardian can be charged with Child Abduction.
Even parents can be charged with this crime. For example, a parent who does not have legal custody of the child victim may be convicted of kidnapping or child abduction if they take the child or conceal the child from their legal custodian.
What Are Defenses of Kidnapping Crimes?
There are a few defenses that can be raised in kidnapping cases.
You did not use force or fraud to take the victim
The alleged victim consented to be moved
There was insufficient movement to qualify as the charged offense
There is insufficient evidence to prove the case
You reasonably believed that the victim was in danger, and you were taking them to a safe place
You were “merely present” and not the individual who did the act
You were falsely accused of the crime based on mistaken identity
As the victim’s parent, you had a legal right to travel with your child
If you are facing kidnapping charges, it is important to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
An attorney can evaluate the facts of your case and determine what defenses may be available to you. An attorney can also represent you in court and negotiate with prosecutors on your behalf.
What Should I Do If I Have a Kidnapping, Child Abduction, or False Imprisonment Case?
If you or a loved one is facing kidnapping, child abduction, false imprisonment, or other criminal charges in court, you need the criminal defense lawyers at ALL Trial Lawyers by your side. The attorneys at ALL Trial Lawyers are trial attorneys with years of experience.
They know the law and are not afraid to take your case to trial.
In addition, they have a strong reputation among judges and prosecutors throughout Southern California, which has delivered tremendous victories for their clients.
Our ultimate goal is to provide the best results that can be achieved in your case— whether by way of outright dismissal, a favorable plea bargain deal, or an acquittal of the charges at trial.
With ALL Trial Lawyers by your side, you can rest assured that the criminal team will be giving you their all.
Call (866) 811-4255 right now for your free consultation.
We have an office located near you. We have experience fighting cases in Orange County, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County, and San Diego County.
If you are facing criminal charges, do not try to handle the case on your own. Instead, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney today for help.
You must speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights.
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