Oakland Kidnapping Lawyer
The potential penalties for a kidnapping offense are severe and can include life imprisonment. A kidnapping conviction also qualifies as a serious and violent felony under California’s three-strikes law. When the stakes are so high, attaining advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible following accusations of kidnapping may be essential to your defense.
Although viable defenses to your kidnapping charge may exist, you could be left unaware of these defenses without legal counsel to guide you through using them. Working with an Oakland kidnapping lawyer from the outset of your case could allow you to develop the most effective defense strategy possible.
California Penal Code §207 defines various scenarios that constitute kidnapping. These situations all include at least three elements:
- Moving the alleged target of the abduction a substantial distance
- A lack of consent on the part of the alleged target
- Using force or fear to affect the alleged target
One specific scenario that qualifies as kidnapping is hiring, persuading, or seducing a child under the age of 14 to leave an area to engage in lewd sexual acts. Likewise, abducting persons for the purpose of involuntary servitude constitutes kidnapping.
Even fraudulently forcing or persuading someone to enter the state of California can constitute a kidnapping charge. An Oakland kidnapping attorney may be able to evaluate the evidence that would be necessary to prove a kidnapping charge and develop a strong defense strategy in response to that evidence.
Aggravated Versus Non-Aggravated Kidnapping
Under Ca. Pen. Code §208, kidnapping without any aggravating factors is punishable by imprisonment for three, five, or eight years. If the abduction involves a child who is under the age of 14, however, the potential term of imprisonment increases to five, eight, or 11 years. If the court orders the accused to serve a term of probation, then the sentence usually includes a 12-month county jail sentence, except in extraordinary circumstances that the court finds merit a lesser punishment.
According to Ca. Pen. Code §209, certain factors that occur during a kidnapping merit a more severe potential punishment. Aggravating factors can include seeking reward, ransom, or extortion, or kidnapping persons to commit certain felonies like rape or carjacking. If kidnapping results in death or serious bodily harm to others, that may also constitute an aggravating factor.
An aggravated kidnapping offense could result in a life sentence without the possibility of parole. As is the case with non-aggravated kidnapping offenses, even sentences of probation must typically include a mandatory 12-month jail sentence.
Kidnapping and the Three-Strikes Law
Whether simple or aggravated, a kidnapping conviction will count as a serious and violent felony in the context of California’s three-strikes law. A second felony charge following a kidnapping conviction could result in double the sentence imposed by law for that offense, and a third felony conviction could result in a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 25 years. A kidnapping lawyer in Oakland could work on a defendant’s behalf to pursue a proactive outcome in this kind of situation.
Call an Oakland Kidnapping Attorney for Legal Advice
If you find that you are the target a kidnapping investigation, you may wish to contact an Oakland kidnapping lawyer right away. Building a strong defense to kidnapping or other serious criminal charges from the outset of your case could be crucial to protecting your rights and clearing your name. Contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible to start exploring your options.