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Last Updated on: 28th July 2023, 08:57 pm
Kidnapping is a felony crime in Long Island, and it’s one that encompasses numerous situations. Many people think of kidnapping as what happens when a stranger takes a child and abducts them, but the truth is this is the fewest kidnappings in the country happen this way. Nearly half of all kidnappings are family kidnappings, approximately 30% are what Long Island officials call acquaintance kidnappings, and only 24% of all kidnappings are stranger abductions.
It doesn’t make anyone feel any better about the safety of their loved ones knowing most kidnappings happen when people you know take your loved one. Familial kidnappings most often occur when parents in the middle of a divorce and the custody issue is ongoing. They take their kids in anger out of losing custody to the other parent or fear of losing the kids to the other parent.
New York’s Penal Cody 135 is where information on kidnapping is kept, and it’s a lengthy section. Kidnapping does not occur only when kids are taken from their parents. Anyone of any age taken against their will is considered a kidnap victim, and the punishment for committing a crime of this nature is severe. Legally defined, kidnapping
occurs anytime someone does not offer their consent to take them.
Kidnapping in New York
First and second-degree kidnapping charges are what you might face in Long Island. The act is broken down into two categories to differentiate between the two, and they’re both very serious. What makes them differ is the fact that second-degree kidnapping occurs when someone takes another person against their will.
For example, a mother might take her kids in the middle of a custody battle and run away with them. She might be afraid she’s going to lose her children to their abusive father, and she wants to avoid this. She’s not abducting them for any sort of ransom or money, and she’s not taking them to harm them. This is a Class B felony, and it can cause punishments that include prison time and hefty fines.
First-degree kidnapping occurs when someone takes another person for the sole purpose of extorting money out of someone. For example, if the child of a celebrity is kidnapped and the kidnappers demand ransom for the safe return of the child, it’s considered a Class A felony and the punishment is much more serious.
There are additional considerations to make regarding any kind of kidnapping in New York. Harsher penalties are handed out to convicted kidnappers who do one or more of the following no matter the intent:
– Hold the victim more than 12 hours
– Hurt, harm, or abuse the victim in any way
– You move the victim into another state
Defending Criminal Kidnapping Charges
A criminal attorney can help you with your kidnapping case. A good criminal attorney knows the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt you kidnapped someone, they have to prove it was not consensual, and they have to prove you had whatever motives you had.
If someone is kidnapped mistakenly, it can be a good defense. For example, if you are surprising a friend for their birthday and wait for them to come out of their bedroom in the morning, throw a blanket over their head, and then drag them out of the house and into the car, you might not notice if it was your friend’s brother who came out of the room. You just jokingly kidnapped the wrong person, and it could become very ugly.
Another good example is a grandparent with poor vision who takes the wrong child from a school. He or she might not have enough familiarity to realize her grandchild isn’t the one she is holding onto if they’re infants and all look the same.
Insanity is another defense. If you can prove you were not in the right frame of mind due to a lack of proper medication, a mental illness, or another reason of insanity, you cannot be found guilty. It’s also possible the victim is lying and consented to go with and later changed his or her story to kidnapping to avoid trouble with a spouse or even with their parents.
An experienced criminal attorney knows the prosecution has to prove several factors to get a conviction, and a good attorney can make sure that never happens if the evidence simply isn’t there. If you’ve been accused of kidnapping, call an attorney with experience working with kidnappers and find out what you can do to help your own case. A criminal conviction stays with you the rest of your life, and it’s not worth fighting this case on your own. Professional help is required, and it’s time for you to call for help overseeing your case.
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