What Constitutes a Kidnapping?
According to Pennsylvania law, a kidnapping can occur in two different ways. First, a kidnapping may occur if a person is unlawfully removed by another person a substantial distance from the place where the person is later found. The second way in which a defendant may commit a kidnapping is if the victim is isolated or unlawfully confined for a substantial period of time.
Pennsylvania Law on Kidnapping
According to Pennsylvania Statues Section 18-2901, a person can be convicted of kidnapping charges if he or she had intent to:
- (a) Hold the victim for ransom or reward, or as a shield or hostage;
- (b) Facilitate commission of any felony or flight thereafter;
- (c) Inflict bodily injury on or terrorize the victim or another person; or
- (d) Interfere with a public official’s performance of any governmental or political function.
What Are the Penalties for a Kidnapping Charge?
Kidnapping is a first-degree felony in Pennsylvania. The penalty for a kidnapping charge, if convicted, is a prison sentence of up to 20 years. The court may also impose a fine of up to $25,000.00, or the double of the defendant’s gain from the commission of the crime, whichever is greater. If the kidnapper inflicted bodily harm on the victim, he or she may be required to make full restitution to the victim. Restitution could be required regardless of the defendant’s financial status.
What Should I Do If I’m Arrested for Kidnapping?
If you are arrested for kidnapping you should seek legal counsel immediately. Kidnapping is a very serious charge and carries with it severe consequences. A conviction of such a charge can change your entire life. Retaining the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you through the process and he or she can advise you of your rights.
If you have been charged with a crime in Pennsylvania and require strong legal representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney, contact The Conner Law Group to schedule a consultation today.