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California enforces stringent kidnapping laws, and any conviction carries the potential for harsh penalties. Although kidnapping charges are serious, there are often viable potential defenses that defendants could use to pursue a positive outcome in their cases.

A criminal defense attorney may be able to raise these defenses on your behalf and fight back against potential conviction. Stand up for your rights in the face of kidnapping charges by enlisting an experienced San Leandro kidnapping lawyer.

The Definition of Kidnapping

Under California Penal Code §207, kidnapping occurs when individuals use force or fear to steal, take, or detain a person and carry him or her into another country, state, county, or another part of the same county. A San Leandro kidnapping attorney could help determine whether the required elements of kidnapping are present in a particular case.

One specific example of kidnapping defined by state law entails hiring, persuading, or enticing someone by misrepresentations to go out of state in order to sell that person into slavery or involuntary servitude. An individual persuading or seducing by false representations a child under the age of 14 to go to another place to commit an illegal sexual act likewise constitutes kidnapping.

Aggravated Kidnapping and Related Offenses

In certain cases, additional factors in a kidnapping can lead to a charge of aggravated kidnapping. Aggravated kidnapping under Ca. Pen. Code §209 occurs under any of the following circumstances:

  • Holding or detaining another for reward, ransom, or extortion
  • Kidnapping another to commit certain felonies, such as robbery or rape
  • Kidnapping that results in death or serious bodily harm to another
  • Intentionally confining another in a manner that substantially increases the risk of death

As the penalties for any aggravated kidnapping charges may be extremely harsh, including a life sentence without the possibility of parole, consulting with a kidnapping lawyer in San Leandro may be highly advisable.

In addition to aggravated kidnapping, California law defines various kidnapping-related charges. These charges include child abduction and deprivation of a child custody order, both of which involve parents or non-parents who keep children from their legal parents or guardians.

Possible Penalties

Ca. Pen. Code §208 dictates that simple kidnapping is punishable by a prison sentence of three, five, or eight years. If the person kidnapped is under the age of 14, however, the potential prison sentence increases to five, eight, or 11 years. In the event that the court orders a sentence of probation, it shall include a 12-month county jail sentence, except in unusual cases in which the interests of justice dictate a lesser penalty.

Aggravated kidnapping in cases of death or bodily harm, meanwhile, can result in a life prison sentence without the possibility of parole. Similarly, if the kidnapping occurs with the intent to commit another felony, including robbery and rape, then a conviction can result in a life prison sentence with the possibility of parole.

Contact a San Leandro Kidnapping Attorney Today

Facing accusations of kidnapping can be a frightening and highly stressful experience, but there are ways to fight back against such charges. Due to the potential consequences of a kidnapping conviction, however, contacting a San Leandro kidnapping lawyer early on may be a wise first step.

Criminal investigations that involve allegations of kidnapping and related charges can move quickly, as law enforcement officials often work under public pressure to find and convict the alleged perpetrators of these offenses. Do not delay in contacting legal counsel to protect your rights.

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