The Pennsylvania Criminal Code makes it a crime for you to take and hold a person for a specific reason. This Crime is called Kidnapping.
Definition of Kidnapping
Found in the Criminal Code at 18 PACS 2901, the District Attorney must prove that you unlawfully removed someone from one place to another and held that person in a place of isolation with the intent to either hold that person:
- For ransom or reward;
- To facilitate a felony or flight from a felony;
- To inflict bodily injury on that person; or
- To interfere with the performance of public officials.
Possible Defenses Against Kidnapping Charges
You have a number of options to defend yourself from charges of Kidnapping. First, the District Attorney must prove that you took and moved the person against his/her will. If the alleged victim came voluntarily, then you are not guilty of kidnapping. The Criminal Code section that defines Kidnapping specifically requires that you use force, threat, or deception when moving someone.
Next, the District Attorney must be able to prove that you had one of the intentions listed above, i.e. ransom, reward, facilitate a felony, etc. If you are able to challenge the District Attorney’s evidence to that point that the jury does not find one of the listed intentions, then you have a fighting chance of being found not guilty.
Sentencing and Punishment for Kidnapping Charges
If the District Attorney proves beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime of Kidnapping, you are looking at a Felony of the first degree. This is the highest grade of crime under the Pennsylvania Criminal Code. It is clear that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does not take this crime lightly. You will be sentenced to a long time in jail, pay a lot of money in fines, and will not be able to clean the crime off or your record for a really long time.
Because of the potential impact of this Crime, it is important for you to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side fighting for your rights. Give my office a call at (412) 209-0657 so that we can begin protecting you as soon as possible. I will help you navigate the criminal process, and, if necessary, I will fight for you at trial.