Kidnapping crime in New York

Muslim Kidnapping Attorney in New York

Kidnapping is a severe crime in most states. The crime involves holding someone hostage without their consent and moving the person to a new location. Moving the victim does not have to be a long distance. Instead, moving the victim to a different room in the same block qualifies the case as a kidnapping. Moreover, the kidnapper does not have to ask for a ransom for them to get convicted. For example, if someone insists on meeting you for coffee and picking you from your home but instead of driving to a coffee shop they drive to a cabin in the wood and refuses to let go until you agree to their request, they could be charged with kidnapping.

Most states classify kidnapping in two degrees. For instance, kidnapping 2nd degree New York is where a person abducts another person but doesn't subject that person to harm. On the other hand, first-degree kidnapping New York is similar to a second degree but there is the involvement of harming the victim and subjecting the victim to death and physical injury. Undoubtedly, the 1st-degree kidnapping sentence is more severe than a second-degree sentence. Ideally, if the kidnapping is followed by asking for a ransom, death of the victim, or restraining of the victim for more than 12 hours and commissioning another felony, the crime becomes first-degree kidnapping.   

Elements of a kidnapping

  1. Taking and confining

The first element that qualifies a case as kidnapping is taking someone and confining them from leaving. The intention of the offender might be to harm or ask for ransom, but the fact that the offender confines another person qualifies the act as kidnapping.

  1. Consent

If the victim doesn't consent to be moved or confined to another place, the action is kidnapping. Also, if a child is taken to another place without their parent's consent, the act is kidnapping. People with cognitive disabilities don't have legal consent and thus taking them to a place hard to be tracked is also kidnapping.

  1. Moving

Another characteristic of kidnapping is moving the victim no matter how small the distance. For instance, moving a victim to another block on the same street without that person’s consent is kidnapping.

  1. Force and threat

Some states require proof of force or threat before confinement for the situation to qualify as kidnapping. On the other hand, other courts don't have to prove or ask for evidence of threat or force to convict the offender.

  1. Federal kidnapping

When the kidnap moves from one state to another, it becomes federal kidnapping. In such a scenario, the federal prosecutor will press charges and the state will too. Typically, the offender will answer to two cases.

  1. Kidnapping degree

States divide kidnapping offenses into two degrees depending on the level of severity. For example, if the offense involves holding a person against their will but doesn't include asking for a ransom or harming the victim, the offense remains at second degree. However, if the offender asks for a ransom, physically harm or sexually assault the victim, the case is ruled as the first-degree offense.

Types of kidnapping

  • Express kidnapping: this type of kidnapping involves an offender who kidnaps a victim and forces them to withdraw money from ATM to pay up their ransom. The victim is then released or could be held for longer for further demands.
  • Basic kidnapping/kidnap for ransom: is where a kidnapper picks anyone, especially business personnel, and asks for a ransom.
  • Political/ideological kidnapping: this type of kidnapping is probably the most challenging as it affects a larger group of people. The offender might not be after money but a bigger demand. Mostly, a negotiating mediator is required to facilitate secure means of releasing the kidnapped person.
  • Virtual kidnapping: this type of kidnapping is where the offender doesn’t physically kidnap a person but uses another person to make it seem like they did. The offender asks for money that is easily payable and doesn't leave the affected family with room to contact or confirm whether the person in question is kidnapped.
  • Tiger/proxy bombing: this type of kidnapping involves an offender who holds hostage of another and force or asks them to do something on behalf of the offender. For instance, the offender may ask the victim to open a place of work past working hours, open bank vault or denote a bomb as this kidnapping seems like a movie based, it is not. In fact,in 2015, an employee’s family was abducted so that the employee could complete the task the abductor asked him to.

Penalties and sentences

Indeed, kidnapping is a serious crime and thus severe penalties. In New York, kidnapping in the second degree is a class B felony. Therefore, the crime attracts mandatory imprisonment of between five and 25 years in jail. In addition to the prison time, the offender may have to pay a fine of more than $5000.

First-degree kidnapping, on the other hand, is more serious than second-degree kidnapping. Unquestionably, the crime draws severe sentences such as a minimum of 15 years and life imprisonment. Fines may also apply.

Felonies such as kidnapping are subject to an unstipulated sentence. Therefore, penal laws direct that people convicted of such felony should be put under the state department of correction and maximum community supervision until the term of the sentence is complete.

Probation is another penalty for kidnapping and lasts several years or up to 10 years. A person convicted with probation has to comply with the terms of the probation and if they fail even once, they have to serve the original prison term and fine.

 Defense

If the victim agrees that they consented of your action, then you can use the claim as your defense. For instance, New York Penal Law 135.30 allows you to use the relative card as a defense to kidnapping and prove the purpose of the kidnapping was to assume control over the victim.

Find a lawyer

Notably, kidnapping is one of the serious felonies in New York. Thus, the felony attracts severe penalties. Therefore, an immediate investigation is underway about kidnapping, ensure you contact a lawyer for advice. Bearing the conviction of kidnapping draws significant penalties, the charges can halt your future including getting jobs. Therefore, the only ideal choice is to talk to a criminal defense lawyer from your local environment to discuss your case forward. Moreover, a skilled lawyer understands what charges come your way and can help you navigate the possibilities and prepare a defense.   

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