Kidnapping is one of the most serious charges in New York State. Even in its lowest degree, kidnapping is a class B felony, meaning that if convicted, the person accused could be facing up to 25 years imprisonment. Our experienced team of New York criminal attorneys have handled hundreds of cases in the past and have been extremely successful in obtaining favorable outcomes for our clients. Because these charges are incredibly serious, it is important that you reach out as soon as possible if you or someone you know has been charged with kidnapping. The sooner that our team can begin working for you, the sooner we will be able to begin formulating a defense against the charges.
The lowest charge of kidnapping is in the second degree. This charge applies when a person has abducted another. For the purpose of the statute, abduct means to restrain a person with intent to prevent them from leaving by using or threatening to use deadly physical force against them or by holding them in a place where they are not likely to be found.
If a person has abducted another when their intent is to compel a third party to delivery money as part of ransom or to encourage the third party to act or refrain from acting in a certain way, the charge is moved to kidnapping in the first degree. Kidnapping in the first degree is a class A-I felony and the highest level of felony charges, meaning it can result in a sentence of life in prison if convicted. Other actions can lead to this charge, as well as the demand for ransom. If a person restrains the person abducted for over 12 hours with an intent to terrorize them or a third person, accomplish or continue the act of a felony or inflict physical injury, violate or abuse the person abducted, this also is distinguished as first degree kidnapping.
The final distinction that defines the charge of first-degree kidnapping is if the person who has been abducted dies during the abduction or before they are returned to safety. When the abducted is over 16 years of age and there is proof that they have not visited or communicated with those they would be likely to do so in a specified period of time and there is no reliable evidence showing that they are alive, they will be presumed dead at the hands of the kidnapper. If the person abducted is under 16 or an incompetent person, their death is presumed if their parents or legal custodians have not seen of heard from them when the abduction is assumed to have ended and prior to trial there has been no reliable information received that indicate that they are alive.
Very few defenses exist for kidnapping charges, but our experienced team of New York criminal attorneys are adept at handling whatever charges you may be facing, no matter how serious. Our office knows the laws and how they apply and how to use them to assist you in handling these charges to obtain the best possible outcome for the accused.