California takes kidnapping incredibly seriously, even if violence was the furthest thing from your mind. If someone alleges you trapped or moved them without their permission, then you could end up in court, across the table from a prosecutor who is out to get you.
Whatever the circumstances that led to these charges, now you need an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side. If you are arrested and the cops ask to hear “your side of the story,” realize you will not be able to talk your way out of kidnapping, false imprisonment, or related charges. Instead, you should simply decline to answer questions until you’ve consulted an attorney, who will mount a hard-hitting defense and any mitigating factors that support your version of events. For information on how to best address and defend against kidnapping charges, contact us at Silver Law Firm today. Call (510) 995-0000 or submit an online request to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
He kept in constant communication with me and walked me through the entire process when I had given up all hope. His mediation skills are kick-ass. He has a way of reaching people without being a jerk or vindictive. If you are in need of a lawyer, call him now. He is the best lawyer in the SF Bay area…”
California Kidnapping Charges
Under California Penal Code 207-210, you can be charged with kidnapping if there is evidence you moved another person – whether an adult or a child – against their will through force, violence, intimidation, or fear.
Kidnapping can involve a long-distance move, such as from one state to another, or it could be a smaller move from one building to another within the same county, or even between rooms within the same house. Just so long as there is evidence you moved an individual a “substantial distance,” you could face charges. Whether or not your actions constituted a substantial move could be up for debate and depend on:
- The actual physical distance the victim was moved
- The increase in danger the victim faced with the move
- Any movement that helped you avoid arrest
- Any movement that assisted you in committing another offense
Upon conviction for kidnapping, you could be sentenced to up to eight years in prison. If you are found guilty of abducting a child under the age of 14, then you could be imprisoned for up to 11 years.
However, if there is evidence you kidnapped another person for the purpose of committing another crime, like asking for a ransom or sexual assault, then you will be charged with aggravated kidnapping, which is punishable by up to life in prison both with, or without, the possibility of parole.
Related Kidnapping Charges
Depending on the circumstances, you may face charges related to, or in addition to, kidnapping. At Silver Law Firm, we are prepared to defend you against:
- Attempted Kidnapping (Penal Code 207)
You may be charged with attempted kidnapping if there is information that you intended to move another individual without their permission and you took a substantial step toward doing so. A substantial step might be possessing materials such as rope and duct tape, that would help you commit the offense, or searching for, following, or waiting for a potential victim. Attempted kidnapping can be charged the same as a completed kidnapping offense.
- False Imprisonment (Penal Code 237(a))
California Penal Code 236 states you can be charged with false imprisonment if there is evidence you intentionally and unlawfully restrained, confined, or detained another person, and your actions forced a person to remain in or go to a place without their consent. This can be a misdemeanor offense, punishable by up to one year jail. However, if there is any evidence the false imprisonment occurred through violence, then you will be charged with a felony, punishable by up to three years in prison.
- Human Trafficking (Penal Code 236.1(a))
It is illegal to take away someone’s liberty and freedom with the intent to force them into services or labor, including prostitution or other commercial sexual activities. If you are found to possess, purchase, sell, or distribute individuals for labor, you will be charged with a felony, punishable by up to 12 years in prison. If there is evidence you trafficked humans for commercial sex, child pornography, or extortion, then you face up to 20 years in prison. You might also have to register as a sex offender.
Have you been charged with a crime? Contact Silver Law Firm today.
Defending Against Kidnapping Charges
If you have been charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, or human trafficking, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. These accusations deserve an immediate and thorough response. At Silver Law Firm, we will thoroughly investigate the claims and evidence against you. We will use this information to determine whether we can seek to have the charges dropped or reduced and then plan a rigorous defense.
An appropriate defense strategy for your case may include arguing:
- You had the other person’s consent
- You believed that the other person consented to your conduct
- You lawfully moved or detained the individual, such as if you had custody of a child
- You did not move the person enough of a “substantial distance” to constitute an offense
- You have been falsely accused, and the alleged crime did not occur
- The police are working under a mistake of identity and you are innocent of the crime
Witness statements can be unreliable, physical evidence can be corrupted during the collection process, and sadly people have been known to use kidnapping allegations to gain leverage in divorce or child custody disputes. It will be imperative to find a skilled legal representative with the ability to present your argument accurately and articulately to show the prosecutor, judge, or jury their version of events is wrong.
Call Our Oakland Kidnapping Defense Lawyers Today
Few circumstances are as devastating as being accused of a crime you know you did not commit. The frustration, anger, resentment, and fear you feel right now is why you cannot handle this situation alone. You need an experienced and objective criminal defense attorney to take the lead.
If you have been charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, or human trafficking, contact Silver Law Firm as soon as possible. We will thoroughly investigate the evidence against you and build the fiercest defense possible under the law. Protecting your rights and fighting for the best possible outcome will always remain our top priorities.
Call (510) 995-0000 or submit a request online today to speak directly with Oakland criminal defense attorney Elliot Silver in a one-on-one initial consultation.