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New York Penal Law § 135.20 – Kidnapping in the Second Degree

Dedicated NYC Defense Attorneys Aggressively Defending Clients Charged with Abduction Offenses

Kidnapping in the Second Degree is a criminal offense prohibiting the abduction of another person, regardless of their age. Kidnapping is a Class B felony, and if the victim is under 17 and not the child of the defendant, it is also a registerable sex offense in New York.

The Elements of Kidnapping in the Second Degree

All crimes have certain elements. The burden rests with the prosecution to prove each element of an offense beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution cannot establish every element beyond a reasonable doubt, a judge or jury must acquit the defendant of the charge.

The elements of Kidnapping in the Second Degree are:

  1. The defendant restricted the victim's movement, substantially interfering with their liberty, by either
    1. Moving them from one place to another, or
    2. Confining them;
  2. The defendant did so without the victim's consent;
  3. The defendant acted intentionally;
  4. The restriction of the victim's movement was unlawful, and the defendant knew that the restriction was unlawful; and
  5. The defendant either:
    1. held the victim in secret;
    2. held them in a place where they were not likely to be found; or
    3. used deadly physical force.
Examples of Kidnapping in the Second Degree

There are situations that can give rise to kidnapping charges. A few examples of Kidnapping in the Second Degree include:

  • A person holds a child against their will and without telling the child's parents; and
  • A man tells his girlfriend to get into a car while holding her at knifepoint.
Related Offenses to NY Penal Law § 135.20

Often, prosecutors bring Kidnapping in the Second Degree charges along with one or more of the following:

  • Kidnapping in the First Degree – N.Y. Penal Law § 135.25
  • Unlawful Imprisonment in the Second Degree – N.Y. Penal Law § 135.05
  • Unlawful Imprisonment in the First Degree – N.Y. Penal Law § 135.10
  • Custodial Interference in the Second Degree – N.Y. Penal Law § 135.45
  • Custodial Interference in the First Degree – N.Y. Penal Law § 135.50
  • Coercion in the Third Degree – N.Y. Penal Law § 135.60
  • Coercion in the Second Degree – N.Y. Penal Law § 135.61
  • Coercion in the First Degree – N.Y. Penal Law § 135.65
  • Labor Trafficking – N.Y. Penal Law § 135.35
  • Aggravated Labor Trafficking – N.Y. Penal Law § 135.37
What Are the Defenses to Kidnapping in the Second Degree?

While kidnapping charges are incredibly serious, there are several defenses that may reduce your sentencing exposure, result in the prosecution withdrawing the case against you, or raise reasonable doubt that you committed the crime.

Under N.Y. Penal Law § 135.30, it is an affirmative defense to kidnapping charges if each of the following applies:

  • You are related to the alleged victim; and
  • Your sole purpose was to assume control of the alleged victim.

In addition, there are several other defenses to Kidnapping in the Second Degree, including the following:

  • You obtained the alleged victim's consent to restrain, confine or transport them;
  • You truly believed that you had the alleged victim's consent;
  • You did not use force or hold the alleged victim in a secret location;
  • The alleged victim was not actually restrained, confined or moved; and
  • The allegations were fabricated or exaggerated by the alleged victim or their parent or guardian.

Notably, not all of these defenses are complete defenses. For example, if you successfully established that you did not use physical force but still restrained the victim, prosecutors could charge you with unlawful imprisonment.

What Are the Penalties for Violating NY Penal Law § 135.20?

Kidnapping in the Second Degree is a Class B felony. In New York, GRADEs carry a maximum sentence of up to 25 years in jail and a fine of up to $30,000. Additionally, if you were not the parent of the victim and they were under 17 years old, a conviction for Kidnapping in the Second Degree will require you to register as a sex offender.

Speak with an Experienced New York to Get Started Working on a Kidnapping Defense Today

If you were recently arrested and charged with Kidnapping in the 2nd Degree, your next move should be to reach out to the dedicated New York criminal defense attorneys at Tilem & Associates, P.C. At our law firm, we stand by our clients from our initial meeting up through the final resolution of their case, aggressively advocating on their behalf at every possible opportunity. We are immediately available to meet with you to get started working on a compelling defense to the charges you face. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call 877-377-8666. You can also reach us through our online contact form.

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