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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

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Westchester Kidnapping Lawyers

By Spodek Law Group | July 27, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 15, 2023)

Last Updated on: 15th October 2023, 09:08 am

Westchester Kidnapping Lawyers: Defending Your Rights When Facing Serious Charges

Being accused of kidnapping in Westchester County, New York can feel completely overwhelming. Kidnapping charges lead to very serious penalties that can change your life forever. Even just being investigated can lead to stress, anxiety, and fear of what might happen.

If you or someone you love has been accused of kidnapping, it’s critical to talk to an experienced Westchester kidnapping defense attorney right away. A knowledgeable lawyer can advise you on the best legal strategies and work tirelessly to protect your rights.

This article provides an overview of kidnapping charges in Westchester County, potential defenses, and how an attorney can help. It’s written in an informal, conversational tone to be accessible to non-lawyers. We’ll also look at a famous Westchester kidnapping case – the 1975 Bronfman kidnapping.

Overview of Kidnapping Charges in Westchester County

Westchester County is an affluent suburb just north of New York City. It’s home to almost a million residents. The Westchester County District Attorney’s office takes kidnapping charges very seriously.

There are two main kidnapping offenses in New York State law:

  • Kidnapping in the Second Degree (PL § 135.20) – When you abduct someone with the intent to extract ransom, or hold them in a place where they’re unlikely to be found. This is a Class B felony.
  • Kidnapping in the First Degree (PL § 135.25) – The most serious kidnapping charge. Includes holding someone for ransom, holding them for more than 12 hours intending to injure them, or the victim dies before being released. This is a Class A-I felony.

Prosecutors may also bring other charges like luring a child, unlawful imprisonment, sex offenses, and homicide charges. Kidnapping sentences can range from probation up to 25 years to life in prison.

Why You Need an Experienced Kidnapping Lawyer

Facing kidnapping charges in Westchester County can feel terrifying. The potential consequences are extremely serious. Even allegations that don’t lead to formal charges can harm your reputation and livelihood.

An experienced Westchester kidnapping lawyer can help by:

  • Thoroughly investigating the allegations – Your lawyer will leave no stone unturned looking into what happened. They can interview witnesses, obtain surveillance footage, and review police reports to understand the full context.
  • Identifying weaknesses in the prosecution’s case – By fully examining all the evidence and police procedures, your lawyer may find problems like improper interrogation tactics, lack of proof, or mishandled evidence.
  • Developing defense strategies – There are many potential defenses to kidnapping charges. Your lawyer will determine if any apply in your case.
  • Negotiating with the prosecution – Your attorney may be able to get charges reduced or even dismissed through effective negotiation.
  • Providing strong representation in court – If your case goes to trial, your lawyer will aggressively defend your rights in court and hold the prosecution to their burden of proof.
  • Helping you avoid extremely long sentences – Even if convicted, your lawyer can advocate for the lowest possible sentence under the circumstances.

The bottom line is you need an advocate on your side with extensive experience specifically defending kidnapping charges in Westchester County. Don’t leave your fate to chance – hire a knowledgeable lawyer right away.

Potential Defenses to Kidnapping Charges

There are many potential defenses your lawyer may use to fight kidnapping allegations, including:

  • False allegations – The accusations against you may be exaggerated or completely fabricated. Your lawyer can investigate to show this.
  • Mistaken identity – You may have been wrongly identified as the perpetrator. Eyewitness misidentification is a common problem.
  • Consent – If the alleged victim consented to go with you, it may not qualify as kidnapping. However, minors cannot legally consent.
  • No intent to harm – If there’s no evidence you intended to injure the victim, lower level Unlawful Imprisonment charges may apply instead.
  • Duress – If you were forced to commit the kidnapping under threat to your own safety, this may excuse your actions.
  • Mental incapacity – If you can show you were unable to understand the nature of your actions due to mental disability, this may provide a defense.

A skilled lawyer will thoroughly examine the facts of your case to determine which defenses might apply. Raising reasonable doubt can lead to reduced charges or even dismissal of the case.

The Infamous 1975 Bronfman Kidnapping Case

One of the most well-known kidnapping cases in Westchester history is the 1975 abduction of Samuel Bronfman II. This bizarre saga illustrates how complex these cases can be.

Bronfman was the 21-year-old heir to the Seagram liquor fortune, worth about $750 million at the time. On August 8, 1975, he was kidnapped at gunpoint from his mother’s home in Purchase, NY and held for ransom.

After 9 days, the FBI raided an apartment in Brooklyn and found Bronfman alive. They arrested two Irish immigrants – Mel Patrick Lynch and Dominic Byrne.

Lynch and Byrne confessed to the kidnapping and extortion. But then their defense attorneys concocted a wild story that Bronfman had plotted his own kidnapping with Lynch as part of a secret gay love affair.

Incredibly, the jury bought this far-fetched tale. Lynch and Byrne were acquitted of kidnapping and only convicted of extortion.

Decades later in 2020, Byrne’s lawyer admitted the gay affair story was completely fabricated. He confessed on his deathbed that Bronfman was an innocent victim all along.

This amazing case shows how creative lawyering can make an impact. Even in situations that seem open-and-shut, skilled defense attorneys can sometimes achieve surprising results.

How an Attorney Can Help if You’re Under Investigation

Even if you haven’t been arrested yet, having an attorney can be crucial if you know you’re under investigation.

Police and prosecutors often use questionable tactics when building kidnapping cases. An experienced lawyer can protect you, including:

  • Being present for police questioning – Never talk to police without your lawyer present. They can twist your words against you.
  • Negotiating surrender – If police want to arrest you, your lawyer can arrange your peaceful surrender. This looks better than being forcibly arrested.
  • Advocating for reasonable bail – Your lawyer will argue to the judge that you’re not a flight risk and should be released on bail.
  • Advising you on what to share – Your lawyer will tell you what details to provide and what’s better to keep private. Information you volunteer can come back to haunt you.
  • Collecting exculpatory evidence – Your lawyer can gather evidence and witness statements that might help counter the accusations. These can be invaluable if charges are filed later.

Having an attorney guide you through the investigation phase is extremely helpful. Don’t wait until you’re facing formal charges – get legal help immediately.

Finding the Best Kidnapping Defense Lawyer in Westchester

If you or a loved one is dealing with a kidnapping investigation or charges in Westchester County, you need legal representation you can trust completely.

Look for a lawyer with extensive experience specifically defending kidnapping and other serious felony cases in Westchester courts. Find someone you’re comfortable opening up to, so they can build the strongest defense.

Ideally, hire a local Westchester lawyer who knows the prosecutors and judges and understands how things work in the local courts. Beware lawyers from other boroughs who claim they can handle Westchester cases easily – the jurisdiction is different.

Interview a few lawyers before deciding who to hire. Many offer free consultations. Be upfront about your situation and ask lots of questions to understand how they’ll defend you.

Check online reviews and ask people in your local community for referrals to lawyers with great reputations. Also verify the lawyer is licensed in good standing and hasn’t faced disciplinary sanctions.

Don’t take chances with your freedom. Hiring the right lawyer can make all the difference in getting charges reduced or dismissed. With an experienced attorney on your side, you have the best chance of moving forward with your life.


Being accused of kidnapping in Westchester County is extremely serious. The potential penalties if convicted are severe. Even when charges aren’t filed, having your name connected with kidnapping can negatively impact your life forever.

Don’t wait to seek help from an experienced local kidnapping defense lawyer. An attorney can provide advice and representation to protect your rights at every stage. They will thoroughly examine the evidence, identify weaknesses, develop defense strategies, and advocate for you in negotiations and court.


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I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

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It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me, and my company Qumana skincare feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything...

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