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What are the laws and penalties for kidnapping?

Any arrest in Pennsylvania will inevitably cause problems regardless of the allegations. For some charges, however, those allegations can have severe long-term consequences in a legal sense, along with a stigma for the person even after the case is over. A prime example is if the arrest is for kidnapping. It is important to know the law for kidnapping and how significant the penalties can be so that a strong defense can be formulated.

There will be a charge of kidnapping if someone removes a person from the location where that person was found and unlawfully takes that person elsewhere or confines that person in isolation to do the following: receive ransom or reward or have the person function as a hostage or shield; use that person as part of a felony or flight after the felony; to injure or terrorize the person or another individual; or to prevent a public official from performing political or government responsibilities. If the kidnapping is of a minor, it will be a person under age 18 in the same circumstances as the above laws for kidnapping.

Kidnapping of an adult will be a first-degree felony. People who are taken by force, by being threatened, deceived or if it happens to a person who is incapacitated and it is done without the consent of a parent, guardian or someone who is responsible for the person's welfare, it will fall into this category. When the kidnapped person is a minor, it is also a first-degree felony. For consent to take the person, it must be provided for someone under 14 years of age or it will be considered kidnapping. A conviction for a first-degree felony can result in 20 years in prison and a fine of $25,000.

When arrested for kidnapping, it is critical to understand the charges, how they came about and to think about a viable defense. The person who is said to have been kidnapped could have willingly gone with the individual who was arrested. There could have been a misconception regarding the person's age. If the kidnapped person was under age 18, their age might not have been known or they did not give it accurately. It is important to know your options when it comes to state and federal charges for kidnapping.

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Phone: 412-342-8000
Fax: 724-284-9402
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Phone: 724-602-4583
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