Kidnapping is a serious crime in Georgia and is considered a felony. This can lead to time in prison, hefty fines, and implications that can last a lifetime. That makes it even more important to have a good criminal defense attorney on your side if you are facing kidnapping charges.
What is Kidnapping?
The crime of kidnapping occurs when a person steals or abducts another person without their consent, and even slight movement can be enough to be considered a crime. Georgia law lays out specific situations that are considered kidnapping. However, if movement of the victim is incidental to another crime, kidnapping may not have occurred. Situations in which the action may not be considered kidnapping, but instead part of another crime include:
- Isolating or concealing the victim.
- Makes the commission of another offense easier.
- Decreases the risk of detection.
- Is done for the purpose of avoiding apprehension.
Penalty for Georgia Kidnapping
Because kidnapping is considered a felony, the consequences for the crime can be steep. If the victim is 14 years of age or older, a prison term may range from 10 to 20 years in length. If the victim is under 14 years of age, however, the penalty may be elevated to a life sentence in prison. If the kidnapping was done for the purpose of ransom or the victim was injured, the defendant could receive life in prison or the death penalty.
Defendants who have been convicted of other crimes, are more likely to receive longer sentences. Judges may also order part of the sentence to be served by probation. Multiple factors are used by the court when determining what the sentence will be and whether a candidate is a good fit for probation. These factors may include criminal history, employment history, drug use history, and ties to the community.
Defenses for Kidnapping
Although a variety of defenses may be used for kidnapping charges, some of the most common include the following:
- Protecting child from harm: If the child is under 14 years of age, the defense could be that the defendant was trying to protect the child from imminent harm.
- The victim was not moved: If the victim was never moved, then there can not be a conviction of kidnapping.
- It was a mistake: If the defendant thought they had the right to take the victim and believed they were acting under the authority of law enforcement, that may be able to be used as a defense.
- They had consent: If a victim admits to giving consent to the defendant, a kidnapping defense will be established.
- Mistake in the victim’s age: If the court made a mistake in the age of the victim, that could decrease the prison sentence.
- Innocence: Of course, any testimony that shows the evidence is not correct will be helpful. An experienced criminal defense attorney should be notified of this information immediately.
Contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Felony charges should never be taken lightly. The attorneys at Lankford & Moore Law can review your case and help craft the best possible defense strategy for your situation. They have decades of experience representing people in court and can help you, too. Contact them today to schedule a consultation.