Have you been charged with kidnapping? Whether this is the first time you have been arrested or you have prior criminal convictions on your record, securing good legal representation early in the process is crucial to your case.
Come to the Kentucky defense attorneys at the Carman Law Firm to discuss the charges, review the circumstances of your arrest, and make a plan for defending your rights.
The founder and managing partner of our firm, Dan Carman, has wide-ranging experience from when he served in the United States Marine Corps as defense counsel, prosecutor, legal assistance attorney, and in-house counsel for an infantry battalion. This background gives him a valuable understanding about both sides of the legal process, which can be very beneficial to his clients. He knows how the Kentucky criminal justice system operates and can personally handle your case every step of the way. He even offers a free initial consultation to help you get started.
What is kidnapping in Kentucky?
When the average person thinks of kidnapping, they tend to think of sophisticated schemes involving ransom notes and elaborate drop-off instructions. Although kidnapping certainly can encompass those things, more often than not it concerns a custody dispute, a fight between spouses or partners, or a drug debt. In Kentucky, kidnapping is defined as unlawfully restraining another person with the intent to accomplish one of the following:
- Hold the victim for ransom or reward
- Accomplish or advance the commission of a felony
- Inflict bodily injury or to terrorize the victim or another person
- Interfere with the performance of political or governmental functions
- Use the victim as a hostage or a shield
- Deprive the parents or guardian of the custody of a minor, when the person taking the minor is not a person exercising custodial control or supervision of the minor.
Chapter 509 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes lists three possible classifications for kidnapping that are dependent upon intent:
- If the victim is released alive and in a safe place prior to trial, the kidnapping is charged as a Class B felony.
- If the victim is released alive, but has suffered serious physical injury during the kidnapping, or as a result of not being released in a safe place, or as a result of being released in any circumstances which are intended, known or should have been known to cause or lead to serious physical injury, the kidnapping is charged as a Class A felony.
- If the victim is not released alive or is released alive but subsequently dies as a result of: (a) serious physical injuries suffered during the kidnapping; or (b) not being released in a safe place; or (c) being released in any circumstances which are intended, known or should have been known to cause or lead to the victim’s death, then the kidnapping is (or may be) charged as a capital offense.
What is unlawful imprisonment?
Closely related to kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment is a separate, less serious crime. A person is guilty of unlawful imprisonment in the second degree (a Class A misdemeanor) when he knowingly and unlawfully restrains another person. If that restraint is done under circumstances which expose the victim to a risk of serious physical injury, then the crime is upgraded to the first degree and is charged as a Class D felony.
What are the penalties?
The penalty that can be imposed for a Class B felony is 10 to 20 years in prison. For a Class A felony, a defendant can be sentenced to 20 to 50 years in prison, or life imprisonment. Capital offenses are punishable by death, life without parole, 25 years to life in prison, or 20 to 50 years’ imprisonment. In addition to prison terms, people who are convicted of felonies can be sentenced to pay a fine of $1,000 to $10,000, although imposition of a fine is relatively uncommon (restitution ordered for injuries or damages is more common).
What are the defenses?
Kidnapping is a serious crime with strict penalties. Each kidnapping charge turns on the unique facts of the case, which is why you need an experienced and effective KY kidnapping lawyer by your side. One common defense is that the victim gave his or her consent. If the seizure and detention were voluntary, then there was no kidnapping. A second common defense is that the intent to kidnap was not present. Another valid defense is that the defendant was the victim’s relative and the intent was to assume custody of the victim. Creative defense arguments can also involve elements of mistake, double jeopardy, insanity, duress and procedural issues.
We Can Help
Make sure you have an advocate in your corner, an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will thoroughly review and investigate the factual and legal issues in your case. Fight back against the accusations and keep your record (and your reputation) clean.
From Kentucky misdemeanors to felonies and federal charges, the Lexington-based Carman Law Firm has the knowledge and experience necessary to obtain the best possible resolution of your criminal charges. KY kidnapping defense attorney Dan Carman provides aggressive representation with proven results to clients throughout the state in communities such as Fayette County, Richmond, Winchester, Georgetown and Nicholasville. A native of Lexington and a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law, Dan is dedicated to helping those in his community who may find themselves struggling with serious allegations. Not all criminal charges have to end in convictions. Contact him today and tell him your side of the story. Call (859) 838-1415 or fill out this online contact form.