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Kidnapping Laws in New York

Need an attorney for a kidnapping case in New York City?

In New York, the law defines kidnapping as the action of a person abducting another person. In order to "abduct" someone, it means that they restrain a person with the intention of preventing their liberation. Abducting can also mean hiding someone secretly so they are not likely to be found or threatening to use deadly force on the person. "Restrain" means to restrict someone's movement and taking away their liberty by moving the person to another place without their consent. In order to be moved or confined without consent, the movement must have been made with force, intimidation or deception.

A movement can also be considered "without consent" if the victim is a child under age 16 and the guardian did not consent to it. Any of these types of kidnapping offenses can be charged as a 2nd degree kidnapping.

The offense can be elevated to kidnapping in the first degree if a person performs any of the following acts:

  • Kidnaps a person with the intention of compelling a third party to pay ransom, act in a certain way or refrain from acting in a certain way.

  • Restrains a person for over 12 hours and has the intention of causing injury, sexually abusing the victim, committing a felony, terrorizing the victim or a third part or interfering with any type of government or political function.

  • Abducting a person that dies during the abduction before being returned safely.

Penalties of Kidnapping in NY

Any other violations that the officer notices during the arrest can add to the penalties and charges. Insurance companies can also take action following an underage DWI. Some companies choose to terminate policies if you are convicted of an underage DWI. Others may just raise the cost of the premium by $100- $200 because you are now a higher risk.

Class B violent felony:

  • Mandatory imprisonment for between five and 25 years in prison

  • Fine of at least $5,000 or double the amount that the kidnapper received in the crime

Class A-I felony:

  • Mandatory imprisonment of at least 15 to 25 years and a maximum of life in prison

  • Fine between $5,000 and double the amount that the defendant gained in the crime

In order to convict a person of kidnapping in the second degree, Penal Law Section 135.20 states that the prosecutor has to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the person in fact: committed the act, restricted the victim of movement to interfere with their liberty, did not have consent and did so intentionally.

Penal Law Section 135.21(1) states that for a person to be convicted of kidnapping in the first degree, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant:

  • Restricted the victim's movement to interfere with their liberty or confine him/her

  • Did not have consent of the victim

  • Did the act intentionally

  • Knew the act was unlawful

  • Did the act with the intent of compelling a third person to pay money or engage in conduct or refrain from engaging in conduct.

Defending Kidnapping Charges in New York

If you team up with a criminal lawyer at our firm, we may be able to help you fight your charges. Some possible defenses that we can make on your behalf would be that you are related to the victim and your purpose was just to assume control of the person. There is also a defense against your intentions, we may be able to show that you did not have the intention to prevent the liberty of the abducted person. Other defenses include: you had consent from a guardian, you have a mental illness or any other factors that may help reduce the charges.

Seek representation from the top criminal lawyer in New York City for your kidnapping case. Contact The Law Offices Rothman, Schneider, Soloway & Stern to have experience on your side in your case for aggressive representation in your kidnapping case.

100 Lafayette Street. Suite 501

New York, NY 10013

Phone: 212-571-5500

Fax: 212-571-5500


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