The big screen often glamorizes kidnapping with well-planned abductions and big-ticket ransoms. However, nothing is farther from the truth. Kidnapping is usually an unplanned crime, committed in the heat of the moment and often with the perpetrator not fully aware that he has broken the law. We understand how a kidnapping case may impact a person’s life and how it influences their emotions as well as their future decisions. You don’t need to handle this on your own. You don’t have to go through this with only your family. We at Snader Law are here and we can help.
Kidnapping in Arizona is a serious crime that involves intentionally restraining another person and instilling fear of immediate physical harm to that person, among other factors defined by law. You do not necessarily have to hide or attempt to move the victim for your actions to be defined as kidnapping. Thus, you could already be charged with kidnapping if you restrain a person even for a moment.
As you may find out later there are very unique aspects that define kidnapping in the state of Arizona. If you have been charged with kidnapping, consult our skilled Phoenix criminal defense attorneys at Snader Law Group to help protect your rights.
Why Do I Need a Kidnapping Attorney in Arizona?
Facing kidnapping charges can be stressful and overwhelming. Regardless of the alleged victim’s age or the class of felony involved, kidnapping is a very serious offense that cannot be taken lightly. If you have been accused of kidnapping, it is crucial to consult our credible Phoenix kidnapping attorneys who can provide you with adequate legal representation.
At Snader Law Group, we have decades of experience defending clients against kidnapping and other serious criminal charges. We will rigorously investigate the details of your case and aggressively defend you in the pre-file, trial, or post-conviction stages. We work diligently to obtain the best possible outcome for your case. Contact us now and schedule an initial consultation with our Arizona criminal defense law firm.
What is the definition of Kidnapping in Arizona?
Kidnapping is the illegal act of taking, holding, or removing another person against his or her will, usually done by using physical force, violence, intimidation, or deception. The circumstances of each situation have a significant impact on the nature of the charges and the likelihood of a conviction. If you or a loved one is facing kidnapping charges in Arizona, speak with a reliable Phoenix kidnapping lawyer as soon as possible to know more about your legal options.
As with any criminal charge, the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. You are deemed guilty of kidnapping in Arizona if you purposefully restrain a person with the intent to:
- Hold the victim for ransom, as a shield or hostage
- Hold the victim for involuntary servitude
- Inflict death, physical injury, or sexual offense
- Create fear of immediate bodily harm
- Unlawfully take control of a vehicle, airplane, watercraft, bus, train, or other forms of public transportation
Felony charges vary depending on the circumstances
Any form of kidnapping in Arizona is charged as a felony. The charges range from a Class 4 to a Class 2 felony. In addition to jail time and fines, felonies in Arizona come with consequences like ineligibility for certain professional opportunities or government assistance and loss of certain civil rights. All kidnapping sentences are set to run consecutively – not concurrently – with the sentencing for any other violent crime.
The degree of charges a person faces is determined by the circumstances surrounding the kidnapping case and the amount of harm the kidnapped person experienced. The age of the victim, the length of time restrained, and whether a weapon is used, are all factors considered by law when classifying a kidnapping crime and defining penalties. A knowledgeable Phoenix AZ kidnapping lawyer can help you try to avoid harsh penalties, minimize the consequences, or even dismiss the charges.
Class 4 Felony
A Class 4 felony can be charged if the accused voluntarily releases the victim to a safe place before committing any other offense prior to getting arrested. The victim must be released without any form of imminent physical injury. It is punishable by 1.5 to 3.75 years of jail time, with four years of probation, and a fine.
Class 3 Felony
When the victim is voluntarily released unharmed because of negotiations with government officials, it is considered a Class 3 felony kidnapping charge. It is punishable by at least 5 to a maximum of 15 years jail time with up to five years of probation, and a fine.
Class 2 Felony
If the accused refuses to release the victim before they are arrested and the victim is under 15 years old, the charge will be Class 2 felony kidnapping. It is the most serious offense and carries a prison sentence of 7 to 21 years in prison.
What are the Defenses against Kidnapping Charges in Arizona?
There are many possible defense strategies available in kidnapping cases. With the help of a competent Phoenix criminal defense attorney, it is possible to have your kidnapping charges reduced. If proven that you are not guilty of kidnapping, the court may dismiss the kidnapping charges. Some of the common defense strategies for kidnapping charges under Arizona law include:
The primary defense in a kidnapping case involves challenging whether or not the victim provided consent. To be convicted of kidnapping under Arizona law, it must be evident that you restrained the victim against his/her consent. You may have a valid defense if you can prove that the victim agreed with your actions. If the victim agrees to get in one’s car and be moved, there can be no kidnapping.
In some cases, accusations of kidnapping may be based solely on the word of mouth of the alleged victim without sufficient evidence. Many people tend to accuse others of crimes they may not have committed. The primary cause of false accusations include an intention to take revenge against another person. During custody battles, it is common for spouses to accuse each other of kidnapping the child.
Lack of Intent
The prosecution must prove that you had the necessary intent to commit the crime of kidnapping. Sometimes, kidnapping charges result from false allegations of abduction. You may have a valid defense if you did not intend to hold the victim hostage or harm them.
You Had a Right to be with the Child
The State of Arizona provides statutory defenses for people who have been arrested and charged with kidnapping or unlawful imprisonment. One of these is usually applicable to situations involving child custody disputes. A person can assert that:
- The victim was a relative
- The restrain was completed without any physical harm
- The sole objective was to assume lawful custody over the victim
Call Our Experienced Phoenix Kidnapping Attorneys Now!
Kidnapping is viewed by our judicial system as an extremely serious and dangerous crime. A conviction can ruin your career, your reputation, and your future. If you are facing charges of kidnapping in Arizona, it is strongly advised that you get in touch with our seasoned Phoenix kidnapping attorneys who can evaluate your case and prepare all possible defenses.
At Howard Snader Law, we will work with you to reduce your charges and keep you out of jail. We will help you understand the law and the criminal justice system. We will prepare a solid defense, challenge the prosecution’s evidence, negotiate a reduction of the charges, or represent you at trial. Contact our criminal defense law firm now and schedule an initial case evaluation.