Kidnapping is the act of taking a person from one place to another without their consent, through the use of fear, intimidation, or manipulation to get them to cooperate. Generally, kidnapping is aimed at extortion or the intention to commit another crime. Parental child abduction is one of the most challenging and emotional areas of family law. It is a very complicated issue as it often involves issues of jurisdiction, or which court has the authority to enforce a particular custody and access order. You need a lawyer who can protect your rights and help you get your child back.
Kidnapping began as a crime which involved forcibly abducting someone and carrying him or her to a different country. Today, kidnapping occurs when someone forcibly abducts or confines another person against his or her will. While all provinces criminalize kidnapping, province laws on kidnapping differ in how they define the crime, as well as in how the crime is punished.
The criminal act element required for kidnapping is twofold. First, the defendant must confine the victim. Second, in many provinces, the defendant must move the victim, which is called asportation. One common issue with the kidnapping criminal act is how far the victim must be moved.
Some state laws separate kidnapping into offenses of different degrees or levels of severity. For example, a charge of first-degree kidnapping, sometimes known as aggravated kidnapping, usually requires that the accused kidnapper either physically harm, sexually assault, or expose the victim to serious risk of harm during the course of the kidnapping. A second-degree kidnapping does not involve sexual or violent assault, or exposing the victim to harm.
Under federal law, kidnapping is commonly defined as the taking of a person from one place to another against their will, or the confinement of a person to a controlled space. Abduction and kidnapping cases often go hand in hand. In most cases, abduction is considered to be the illegal holding or transporting of a person without consent and against his or her will.
However, a crime of abduction is considered to be when a person has been taken away from his or her original location by persuading him or her, by some act of fraud or with a forceful way that may include violence. Both crimes are very similar, but charges are quite different when issued against the accused. Surprisingly, most people charged with child abduction are members of the child’s family. If you have a good faith belief that in doing so, you were protecting that child from a threat of immediate bodily or emotional harm, then you may have a valid defense to child abduction charges.
Kidnapping is expressly condemned in the Canadian Criminal Code. Anyone who confines or imprisons another against his will, or causes another to be sent without lawful justification out of Canada, or, and this is the most usual and popular conception of the offence, holds another against his will for ransom or services, is liable to life imprisonment.
Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable.
If a restricted firearm or prohibited firearm is used in the commission of the offence or if any firearm is used in the commission of the offence and the offence is committed for the benefit of a criminal organization, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of:
(i) In the case of a first offence, five years, and
(ii) In the case of a second or subsequent offence, seven years
Fines: Fines for kidnapping offenses are substantial and are imposed in addition to prison sentences. Aggravated kidnapping convictions can result in fines of $50,000 or more, while simple kidnapping can result in fines of $10,000 or more.
Probation: A court may also sentence a person convicted of kidnapping to a probation term. Probation sentences for kidnapping convictions typically last several years, and sometimes as much as 10 years. A person on probation must comply with the court’s conditions or face serving the original prison sentence, pay additional fines, or face other criminal penalties.
In the act of kidnapping, it requires three distinct actions on the part of the offender. First is the unlawful taking of the victim by force or intimidation. Second is the detaining of the victim. Third is committing the first two actions with the intent to achieve at least one of the following goals to deprave the victim of personal liberty, to shield the person from those in charge of the victim, or to force the abducted person to do things against their will.
Our skilled criminal defense attorneys know the legal defenses to these crimes. Some defenses we have successfully used to these charges include:
An accusation of kidnapping or child abduction can ruin your life. If you are facing these charges, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. There are province and federal laws that apply to kidnapping, which may have different elements that a prosecutor will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Whether you’re convicted of this charge will ultimately rest in a jury of your peers. If you’ve been charged with kidnapping, it’s in your best interest to get in touch with a local criminal defense attorney who can help you make your case with the strongest evidence available.
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