Kidnapping is the criminal act of taking an individual against their will and holding them without their lawful consent. In New York, kidnapping in the first degree is defined according to state penal law PEN 135.25. According to state law, kidnapping is the act of taking a person and restraining them against their will and to confine them without their consent.
To restrain an alleged kidnap victim means to unlawfully or intentionally prevent them from moving freely from one place to another. They may be placed in a locked room, tied up or not allowed to go to another area of a building.
To confine an alleged kidnapped victim without consent means the accused is forcing them to go with them. This may be physical force. The accused could also use deception or intimidation to force the alleged victim to go with them.
It does not involve crossing state lines. This would make kidnapping in New York City a federal, not state crime. The state also has other kidnapping-related crimes a person can be accused of in New York City.
NYC Kidnapping in the First Degree involves some Form of Random
A person can be charged in New York City with first degree kidnapping when they abduct in one of three instances:
1. They have the intent to cause an individual (not the alleged victim) to deliver property or money as ransom. A ransom is something of value paid in exchange of a release of the kidnapped victim.
2. They restrain the kidnapped victim for more than 12 hours with the intent to inflict physical injury, abuse them or violate them sexually. They could also restrain them for more than 12 hours to terrorize them or a third person, commit a felony or interfere with a political or governmental function.
3. The kidnapped victim dies before or during the abduction.
Second Degree Kidnapping is a Lesser Offense
In New York City, kidnapping is also a second-degree crime. It is defined under Penal Code 135.20. This crime involves taking a person against their will and holding them without their permission. The difference between the first and second degree kidnapping is the latter doesn’t involve a ransom. The accused takes the alleged victim against their will without asking for money.
Kidnapping in New York Doesn’t Involving Take a Victim Away
It is a misconception that kidnapping requires taking an alleged victim miles away from their home and hiding them. That is one way kidnapping occurs, but it is not the only way it happens. The accused can keeps the alleged victim in their home. They can prevent people from interacting with the alleged victim. The accused can also takes the alleged victim and keeps them in their home.
Defenses to a Kidnapping Charge in New York City
A defense is a way to challenge the state’s evidence against the client. For instance, innocence is a defense to kidnapping. This means the accused did not take the alleged victim against their will and hold them for ransom. Another defense is an alibi. An alibi means the accused was not at the scene at the time the crime was committed and can prove it with witness testimony.
Consent is a defense to kidnapping also. It means that the alleged victim agreed to go with the individual accused of kidnapping. This fact negates the element needed for the kidnapping crime to occur: taking a victim against their will.
Infancy is a defense if the accused is less than 14 years old and accused of first degree kidnapping. The age is 16 years old if they are accused of second degree kidnapping. In both instances, infancy means the accused was too young to understand the crime or to commit the crime. Thus, they should be charged with kidnapping.
Contact the Law Offices of Robert Tsigler PLLC for Legal Representation in Your Kidnapping Case
A New York City kidnapping case is serious. The minimum criminal penalty for kidnapping in the city is 20 years. Depending on the circumstances, it could be life in prison. It’s time to fight this kidnapping charge with the help of the Law Offices of Robert Tsigler PLLC.
We are devoted to proving your innocence or getting the charges dropped. We may also be able to get a first degree kidnapping charge downgraded to second-degree kidnapping or another lesser charge. Contact us immediately for a free case evaluation. Let’s start putting this legal situation behind you. Contact us immediately.