Kidnapping is a very serious crime where a defendant may remove or hold hostage another person. Kidnapping may be completed in a number of different ways for many different reasons. The specific circumstances of the offense will influence how the kidnapping charges are graded. Each defendant’s case is unique, so your best defense will depend on your individual circumstances.
Defendants convicted of kidnapping may face harsh penalties, including fines and long prison terms. As a criminal defendant, you have certain rights that must be protected in order to ensure you receive a fair trial. To protect your rights and mount the best defense possible for your case, contact our experienced Atlantic City kidnapping defense lawyer at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych. Call (609) 616-4956 to schedule a free legal consultation.
Definition of Kidnapping in Atlantic City
In Atlantic City, a defendant may be guilty of kidnapping if they move someone from the place they found them or confines them so that they may hold them for ransom or as a hostage. Kidnapping may also be completed when a defendant moves the victim a substantial distance from where they found them or confines them for a lengthy period of time. Under those circumstances, the defendant must have the intent to facilitate another crime, cause bodily harm to the victim, interfere with a government or political function, or permanently deprive a parent or guardian of custody of the victim.
Kidnapping is an incredibly serious offense as it is classified as a crime of the first-degree in Atlantic City. There are usually many different variables involved in a kidnapping case, such as whether the victim was harmed and the purpose behind the kidnapping. A defendant arrested for kidnapping may be charged with a crime of the first-degree. If the defendant released the victim unharmed before being apprehended, they might be charged with a crime of the second-degree.
The charges against you and the penalties you face will differ based upon how the kidnapping was allegedly carried out. Your intent in the alleged commission of the crime will also influence your case. Kidnapping with the intent to cause the victim harm or to hold them hostage for ransom may result in more severe charges. However, unlawfully restraining or restricting someone’s freedom to move around without the intent to cause harm will likely result in lesser charges. Reach out to our Atlantic City kidnapping defense attorney to discuss the nature of your charges and your possible penalties.
The Difference Between Kidnapping and False Imprisonment
Kidnapping and false imprisonment sound like they are the same crime. Both involve holding someone against their will. However, kidnapping is a much more serious offense with much harsher penalties, so it is crucial to understand the difference between these charges. Our Atlantic City kidnapping defense lawyer can help you understand the charges against you and the penalties you may face.
Kidnapping generally involves not only holding a person against their will but moving them to another location. The victim is typically held in secret while the kidnapper demands a ransom or the kidnapper causes bodily harm to the victim. Common examples of kidnapping are removing someone from their home, holding them somewhere in secret, and demanding money from their family or loved ones in exchange for the victim’s return. Another example would be taking away your child whom you do not have custody over so that the other parent is deprived of custody. In fact, most kidnapping charges are filed against a parent.
False imprisonment is similar to kidnapping but is far less serious. This offense involves knowingly and unlawfully restraining the liberty and movement of another person. This offense does not require any harm to befall the victim, nor is the defendant required to intend to harm the victim. It is a relatively minor offense and may be charged as a disorderly persons offense. However, when the crime turns more serious, such as by demanding ransom or causing harm to the victim, the charges may be upgraded to kidnapping.
What Are the Penalties for Kidnapping in Atlantic City?
Kidnapping is a very serious crime of the first-degree. Typically, a first-degree crime would be penalized with a prison sentence of 10 to 20 years. However, kidnapping is treated differently than most other first-degree crimes. If charged as a first-degree crime, kidnapping may be penalized with a prison term of 15 to 30 years. If kidnapping is charged as a second-degree crime, which is possible under certain circumstances, the defendant may be punished with 5 to 10 years in prison.
The exact terms of your potential sentence may vary based upon certain factors. For example, if the victim is a child or certain types of harm befall the victim during the kidnapping, the sentence may be made harsher. If this is the case, the defendant may be made to serve a prison term of 25 years, during which they are ineligible for parole. On the other hand, the defendant could be made to serve a term of 25 years to life and will become eligible for parole after serving the first 25 years.
To fully understand the potential penalties and how they might apply to your case, you should contact our Atlantic City kidnapping defense attorney at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych.
Contact Our Experienced Atlantic City Kidnapping Defense Attorney for Help
Kidnapping is a serious offense and must be handled by someone with the necessary skills and experience. You are entitled to the protection of your rights at trial and the best defense possible. If you or someone you know has been charged with kidnapping or a related offense, you should contact our Atlantic City kidnapping defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956 to schedule a free legal consultation with an experienced lawyer. Let our Atlantic City criminal defense lawyer zealously advocate for your best interests.