There are always two sides to a story in allegations of kidnapping. But this is a serious felony charge with the potential for a substantial prison sentence. To ensure your rights are protected, it’s advisable to seek legal representation from a Phoenix violent crimes lawyer immediately.
Your attorney must be able to point out the holes in the story to create reasonable doubt that the kidnapping occurred or that you were even involved.
Our Phoenix kidnapping defense lawyers at Suzuki Law Offices bring extensive experience in both state and federal prosecutions for kidnapping crimes, false imprisonment, or child abduction.
Kidnapping may not always involve a stranger taking a child. Most commonly, kidnapping cases arise when one parent unlawfully takes a child away from the custodial parent without proper authorization or legal justification.
Bitter custody battles can be emotionally charged, leading to disagreements about what is in the best interest of the child. Even if you are the child’s parent and you believe you’re protecting your child, you can still face severe penalties like loss of custodial rights and jail time.
In these complex cases, a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer plays a vital role in ensuring that your rights are protected and providing effective legal representation throughout the process.
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Reasons for Kidnapping Charges
Kidnapping is often associated with violent, high-stakes kidnapping plots seen in thriller films. Oftentimes, kidnappings are spontaneous crimes committed in the heat of the moment rather than with any prior planning. It is possible that the defendant was not even aware at the time of the offense that they were breaking the law.
Here are some common reasons why kidnapping charges may be filed in Arizona:
- Domestic disputes/arguments: Charges sometimes arise if one partner forcibly detains or transports the other during a confrontation.
- Custody/family conflicts: Non-custodial parents may face charges for refusing to return a child after a scheduled visitation.
- Robbery gone wrong: Perpetrators sometimes unlawfully confine victims during home invasions or business robberies.
- Drug deals: People involved in the drug trade sometimes kidnap a person over debts, stolen property, or other business disputes.
- Sex crimes: Victims are sometimes kidnapped in conjunction with other charges like sexual assault, abuse, or trafficking.
- Random attacks: On rare occasions, charges stem from opportunistic acts of violence by strangers against those in public areas.
- False imprisonment: Unlawfully restraining someone against their will through confinement, such as locking them in a room or trunk of a car. Human trafficking and alien smuggling can result in this scenario.
Phoenix Kidnapping Defense Lawyer Near Me 602-682-5270
How Kidnapping Is Defined Under Arizona Law
The crime of kidnapping is defined as moving a person from one place to another against their will or confining or restricting them by the use of physical force, intimidation, or deception.
More specifically, A.R.S §13-1304 states that kidnapping occurs when a person restrains another person with the intent to:
- Seek ransom
- Take an individual hostage or use them as a shield
- Force someone into slavery
- Commit a sexual offense
- Cause death or physical injury
- Coerce someone to assist in committing a felony
- Take control of a car, plane, or ship
- Place them into involuntary servitude
Kidnapping charges most commonly arise from scenarios such as:
- Domestic quarrels or disputes
- Confronting an ex or intimate partner
- A drug transaction gone wrong
- Preventing someone from calling the police
- Burglary of a home thought to be unoccupied
- A physical assault or sexual assault
- Attempts to intimidate a person
What Are the Penalties for Kidnapping in Arizona?
Kidnapping is a Class 2 felony, carrying a sentence of four, five, or 10 years in prison, depending on enhancements—such as serious injury, use of a dangerous instrument or weapon, or the age of the victim.
If the person was released without being subjected to physical harm, it may be charged as a Class 4 felony.
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Is Kidnapping a Federal Crime?
Kidnapping becomes a federal crime if the victim is transported across state lines or involves foreign commerce. Other instances that a kidnapping could become a federal offense if the victim is a foreign official, internally protected individual, or federal officer.
In some cases, the federal government can file separate charges from the state, which means you may be facing both federal and state penalties.
Richard Suzuki is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney with extensive trial experience on both sides of federal criminal proceedings.
Get an Aggressive Defense Against Your Criminal Charges
At Suzuki Law Offices, we use investigators who do amazing work in gathering evidence to support our clients’ innocence.
We thoroughly research the background of the alleged victim, looking at their criminal history, similar allegations, and/or incidents of mental illness, and track down witnesses that law enforcement has failed to question or excluded from their report because they had a different version of events.
False identification may also be a possible defense. If the prosecution has a solid case, our criminal defense lawyers can work to negotiate a favorable plea deal. If plea negotiations fail or cannot produce a good outcome for you, we can challenge the state’s ability to prove its case against you.
Contact a Criminal Defense Law Firm in Phoenix Today for a Free Consultation
If you have been arrested for kidnapping, it is strongly recommended to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The lawyers at Suzuki Law will fight aggressively to protect your rights and challenge the state’s allegations.
We have successfully defended many clients facing kidnapping prosecutions. While every case is unique, our attorneys are well-versed in identifying potential defenses and mitigating factors that may help resolve matters in our clients’ favor.
We draw from our decades of experience in attaining positive outcomes even in difficult situations. You have nothing to lose by contacting us to start building your defense. Contact us today. When your future is on the line, you don’t have time to waste.