Kidnapping is a criminal offense covered by California Penal Code Section 207. It is classified as a violent crime and involves using force or fear to transport another person a substantial distance against their will to another location, which may include a different county, state, country, or even a different part of the same county.
The act of kidnapping can involve various means such as the use of force, intimidation, threats, deception, fraud, or blackmail without their consent. It has been considered a highly severe offense in California. Don’t wait, have competent legal representation if you or a loved one face such charges. Cyrus Tabibnia, a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer, possesses extensive experience in handling kidnapping cases and possesses the knowledge and skills required to mount a robust defense against these charges.
In the state of California, there are multiple forms of kidnapping offenses that are differentiated based on specific circumstances. These variations include kidnapping for ransom, kidnapping with the intent to commit robbery, rape, or oral copulation, as well as kidnapping that occurs in the context of a carjacking crime.
TYPES OF KIDNAPPING CHARGES CALIFORNIA
In California, there are various types of kidnapping charges that can be levied, including:
KIDNAPPING FOR CHILD MOLESTATION
The act of kidnapping a child with the intention to commit child molestation is a punishable offense in California, carrying a potential sentence of up to eight years in state prison. It is important to note that even in cases where no actual lewd acts have been committed, a defendant can still face charges if the prosecution can demonstrate the intent to engage in such acts. These provisions are covered by Penal Codes 207(b) and 288(a).
KIDNAPPING FOR RANSOM, REWARD, OR EXTORTION
Under California law, kidnapping someone with the intent to extort money, valuables, or a ransom from their friends and family, or with the purpose of obtaining a reward for the act of kidnapping, is considered a form of aggravated kidnapping. This offense is specifically addressed in Penal Code 209(a), which covers kidnapping for ransom or extortion.
Aggravated kidnapping for ransom or extortion is regarded as an extremely serious crime. If convicted, the punishment for this offense is life imprisonment in state prison, with the possibility of parole only if the victim remains unharmed. This stringent penalty reflects the gravity of the crime and the potential harm inflicted on the victim and their loved ones.
KIDNAPPING FOR ROBBERY, RAPE, OR OTHER SEX OFFENSES
Under California law, if a kidnapping occurs to aid in a robbery or to enable the defendant to commit a sexual offense, it is classified as aggravated kidnapping. Penal Code 209(b) specifically addresses this type of offense.
Aggravated kidnapping for the purpose of robbery, rape, spousal rape, oral copulation, sodomy, or any violation of Sections 264.1, 288, or 289, carries severe penalties. A person convicted of such an offense is subject to life imprisonment in state prison, with the possibility of parole.
KIDNAPPING DURING A CARJACKING
In California, kidnapping during a carjacking refers to the act of forcibly taking control of a motor vehicle from its owner or occupant against their will, while also kidnapping them in the process. This can involve making the driver move to the passenger seat or forcibly restraining them while driving the vehicle a significant distance away from its original location, with the victim still inside.
The criminal offense of kidnapping during a carjacking is addressed by multiple Penal Codes in California, including Penal Code 207(a), Penal Code 209.5(a), and Penal Code 215(a).
KIDNAPPING A CHILD OR PERSON INCAPABLE OF CONSENT
Under California law, the act of kidnapping a child or an individual who is incapable of giving consent, such as a person with cognitive impairment, is addressed by Penal Codes 207(a) and 207(e).
As per California Penal Code Section 278, & 278.5, child abduction charges are applicable when a person unlawfully takes, entices, or conceals a child from their lawful custodian, such as a parent or legal guardian, without permission or court order.
It is important to note that the specifics of these charges may vary under California law, and legal advice should be sought for accurate information and guidance tailored to individual circumstances.
POTENTIAL PENALTIES FOR KIDNAPPING CHARGES
The penalties for kidnapping in California can vary significantly based on factors such as the presence of additional crimes, harm inflicted on the victim, and the potential for serious injury or death. Kidnappings not aggravated by other offenses can result in a sentence of up to eight years in state prison, along with a maximum fine of $10,000.
In cases where the kidnapping is accompanied by additional crimes or the victim suffers harm, the penalties become more severe. Aggravated kidnappings carry a potential sentence of life imprisonment in state prison, along with a maximum fine of $10,000. The availability of parole in these cases depends on the nature of the additional offenses committed during the kidnapping and whether the victim was harmed.
It is important to note that all kidnappings are considered serious felonies under California law and are classified as strikes under the state’s three-strikes law. If an individual accumulates three strikes, including kidnapping convictions, they face a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison, up to a potential life sentence.
Please keep in mind that this information is a general overview and does not account for all possible circumstances or recent changes in the law. To obtain accurate and up-to-date information about penalties for kidnapping in California, it is advisable to consult with a legal professional or refer to the relevant statutes and guidelines.
LEGAL DEFENSES AGAINST KIDNAPPING CHARGES
Here are a few common defenses that may be applicable:
- Lack of Intent: Kidnapping requires the specific intent to unlawfully move, abduct, or confine another person. If it can be demonstrated that there was no intent to commit kidnapping, it may serve as a defense.
- Consent: If the alleged victim voluntarily consented to the movement or confinement, it may be a defense against kidnapping charges. However, it’s important to note that certain circumstances, such as situations involving minors or individuals incapable of giving legal consent, may restrict the applicability of this defense.
- Lawful Authority or Parental Rights: If the accused had lawful authority or parental rights over the alleged victim, it might be a defense against kidnapping charges. For example, if the accused was acting within the scope of their custodial rights or responsibilities, it may be considered a valid defense.
- Mistaken Identity: If there is evidence to support a claim that the accused was mistakenly identified as the perpetrator, it could be a defense. This defense relies on presenting evidence that challenges the accuracy or credibility of the identification.
- Coercion or Duress: If the accused was forced, threatened, or coerced into participating in the alleged kidnapping, it may serve as a defense. This defense requires showing that the accused acted under duress and had no reasonable alternative but to comply.
- Insufficient Evidence: Challenging the evidence presented by the prosecution is a common defense strategy. This may involve questioning the reliability or credibility of witnesses, challenging the collection or handling of evidence, or presenting alternative explanations for the events in question.
These are just a few potential defenses, and the viability of each defense depends on the specific circumstances of the case. Consult with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney Cyrus Tabibnia who can assess the details of your situation and provide appropriate legal advice tailored to your case.
If you are not a citizen of the United States, a conviction for kidnapping may have negative consequences for your immigration status. Contact an immigration attorney for further guidance. The Tabibnia Law Firm can also refer you to an excellent immigration lawyer if you require one.
CALL KIDNAPPING DEFENSE ATTORNEY LOS ANGELES
Facing a kidnapping charge can result in serious legal consequences, potentially even being classified as a federal crime. It is crucial to receive a fair evaluation of the prosecution’s case and determine the most effective course of action. That’s why it’s important to have strong legal representation that can carefully examine police reports and investigations.
The Tabibnia Law Firm, a Los Angeles criminal defense firm, possesses substantial experience in both state and federal courts, offering the best opportunity for a favorable outcome. With attorney Cyrus Tabibnia’s skill and expertise, you can trust that your case will be handled diligently to protect your rights and pursue the most favorable resolution possible. Mr. Tabibnia understands the serious nature of the offense, how best to defend you, and how to resolve your case without you going to jail. Call: 866-713-2159.