Kidnapping is punished harshly in California. Kidnapping is defined as the act of taking, holding, arresting, or detaining another person by force or fear, whether the kidnapping takes place within the same locale or crosses city/state/country lines.
Those who are charged with kidnapping charges in CA can expect to face severe penalties, but the degree of severity depends on a few additional facts. It’s possible for a kidnapping charge to be upgraded to an aggravated kidnapping charge when one of the following applies:
- The victim was subjected to serious bodily harm or death
- The kidnapping involved robbery, rape, or another sex offense
- The kidnapping was done for the purposes of extortion or ransom
- The kidnapping took place during a carjacking
- The victim was under the age of 14 and coerced via fraud, fear, or force
Penalties for Aggravated Kidnapping in CA
Upgraded penalties for aggravated kidnapping are defined under California Penal Code 209. The specific punishment is determined by the circumstances of the case. For example, if the kidnapping victim was under 14 years of age, a defendant faces up to 11 years in state prison.
Several circumstances automatically lead a life sentence without parole. This includes kidnapping for the purpose of committing a sexual crime, kidnapping where the victim suffered bodily or death, and more.
How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
While kidnapping charges are a grievous offense in CA, there are several defenses that an attorney can employ to help ensure that the facts are seen in a fair and just way. For example, an attorney could help demonstrate that the victim consented to the “kidnapping,” or perhaps the actions were undertaken to protect the victim from imminent danger. Furthermore, it can be proven that the victim was not moved a “substantial distance,” which means that the charges could be contested successfully in court.
These are just some of the ways that an attorney can help you with kidnapping and aggravated kidnapping charges in CA. To learn more about how a criminal defense attorney can help, we encourage you to call us at the Jacot Law Firm. Call us today to schedule a free initial consultation.