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Securing a kidnapping conviction requires proof that the defendant intended to commit kidnapping and removed the victim from a location without their consent. Absent adequate evidence in support of these elements, a defendant may be eligible for reduced charges or even a dismissal of charges, depending on the circumstances.

Potential defenses in kidnapping cases may include the consent of the alleged victim, lack of intent, and mistaken identity, among others. Even where the evidence to support the charges is robust, an Alameda kidnapping lawyer may be able to negotiate a successful resolution. Reach out to a defense attorney today for help.

How is Kidnapping Defined in Alameda?

California Penal Code § 207 defines kidnapping as the use of force or fear to detain or take persons to a different location, whether it is another county, state, or country, or a different part of the same county. Beyond the general code section establishing kidnapping as a criminal offense, various other code sections set forth more specific types of abduction.

Aggravated Kidnapping

For instance, under Cal. Pen. Code § 209, aggravated kidnapping occurs when individuals take various actions, including holding others for ransom, kidnapping others to commit rape, a kidnapping that results in death or bodily harm to others, or purposefully confining individuals in a way that significantly increase their risk of death. Likewise, Cal. Pen. Code § 209.5 govern kidnapping that occurs in the context of a carjacking.

Child Abduction

Furthermore, Cal. Pen. Code § 278 defines child abduction, which occurs when individuals who have no right to the custody of a child take, withhold or conceal the child with the intentions of keeping the child from a lawful custodian. Parental kidnapping under this code section may constitute a misdemeanor or a felony under California law. As a kidnapping lawyer in Alameda may attest, individuals who commit kidnapping and related crimes may face severe penalties in the event of a conviction.

What are the Penalties for Kidnapping in Alameda?

Under Ca. Pen. Code § 208, individuals convicted of kidnapping may receive a prison sentence ranging from three to 11 years, depending on the age of the subject of the abduction. The court also has the option of ordering probation; however, all sentences of probation must include a 12-month jail sentence, unless the court makes specific findings to justify a lesser penalty.

A conviction on aggravated kidnapping charges can result in a minimum 12-month jail sentence to a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Deviation from this minimum sentence is possible, but only in the most extraordinary circumstances. Furthermore, if the aggravated kidnapping results in death, bodily harm, or confinement in a way that substantially increases the risk of death or physical injury, the sentence may be life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Parental kidnapping can result in up to one year of incarceration in the county jail if charged as a misdemeanor, and a state prison sentence of two to four years if charged as a felony. A kidnapping that occurs during a carjacking may result in a life prison sentence, but with the possibility of parole. An attorney in Alameda may be able to better explain the nuances between the different charges and their accompanying penalties, as well as how they apply in a specific situation.

Call an Alameda Kidnapping Attorney for Assistance

Accusations of kidnapping can have harsh consequences that may impact you and your family for the rest of your life. As with a felony conviction, you may lose some fundamental civil rights that you will be unable to regain. An Alameda kidnapping lawyer could make the difference between a life in prison and a chance at rebuilding your life.

Kidnapping also counts as a “strike” offense for the California Three Strikes law. As a result, if you are facing kidnapping charges and you have a prior conviction for a qualifying crime, you could be facing double the potential sentence. Contact a lawyer today for representation.

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