Queens, NY Kidnapping Defense Attorney

While all criminal allegations are important issues which must be quickly addressed, kidnapping charges in particular are extremely serious.  In the state of New York, these charges are always classified as high-level felonies.  In the most severe instances, kidnapping can even be graded as a class A-I violent felony, the highest categorization possible: the minimum sentence for an A-I felony can be as long as 25 years.  In addition to the incredibly severe formal penalties enforced by the justice system, persons convicted or even accused of kidnapping must also contend with a difficult social stigma.

During this stressful and often isolating time, you deserve the support of a compassionate and knowledgeable attorney who can walk you through your charges, defend against the allegations, and protect your legal rights.  To set up a completely confidential legal consultation, call the law offices of Queens kidnapping defense attorney Victor Knapp at (718) 263-9000.  The prosecution is already building its case against you, so don’t wait until it’s too late: contact our practice today to start exploring your options in a private case evaluation.

Wooden gavel

Victor Knapp: Queens Kidnapping Defense Lawyer

Unfortunately for the defendants in these cases, the reality is that all too often, people are quick to jump to conclusions where allegations of kidnapping and abduction are involved.  Instead of being attacked by assumptions, you deserve a comprehensive investigation into the details of your case in the pursuit of justice.  Let attorney Victor Knapp offer dedicated legal support during this challenging time.

Victor Knapp has over 33 years of experience representing thousands of clients in Queens and throughout the five-borough area.  No matter what allegations you may be facing, you are entitled to the benefit of having experienced and committed legal representation on your side.  If you are facing abduction charges, Victor Knapp can provide counsel and advocate aggressively on your behalf, so call right away to start discussing your matter.

Man At Courthouse

When Can Kidnapping Be Charged in New York?

Oftentimes, people tend to have a very specific and theatrical mental image of what “kidnapping” entails.  However, in reality, the legal definition of this offense is much different.

In New York, kidnapping is addressed by Article 135 of the Penal Code, and is broken down into two different classifications: second degree, and first degree. How are they different?

Under S 135.20, “A person is guilty of kidnapping in the second degree when he abducts another person.”  Abduction is legally defined as “restraining a person with intent to prevent his liberation,” by either:

  • “Secreting or holding him in a place where he is not likely to be found.”
  • “Using or threatening to use deadly physical force.”

The definition of kidnapping in the first degree is more elaborate.  A person can be charged at this level if he or she abducts a person, and either:

  • Intends to “compel a third person to pay or deliver money or property as ransom.”
  • Intends to compel a third person to perform (or not perform) a certain task.
  • Restrains the abductee for at least 12 hours with the intent of any of the following:
    • Causing physical injury.
    • Committing sexual abuse.
    • “Accomplishing or advancing the commission of felony.”
    • Terrorizing the abductee.
    • Interfering with a “governmental or political function.”

Kidnapping can also be charged in the first degree if the abductee “dies during the abduction or before he is able to return or to be returned to safety.”

Criminal In Handcuffs

What Are the Penalties for Kidnapping in New York?

The penalties you may face for kidnapping are dependent upon the degree of crime you have been charged with.

Second Degree

  • Classification: B Violent Felony
  • Sentence: 5-25 years
  • Fine: $5,000, or double the gain achieved by the defendant

First Degree

  • Classification: A-I Violent Felony
  • Sentence: Minimum of 5-25 years, maximum of life
  • Fine: $5,000, or double the gain achieved by the defendant

What are the Defenses Against Kidnapping Charges?

There are numerous defenses to kidnapping that a defendant may be able to invoke.  However, these are what are called “affirmative defenses,” meaning the defendant must raise and prove them.  Potential valid affirmative defenses which may possibly be raised depending on details of the case include the following:

  • If the accused has not reach the age of 14 (for the first degree offense) or the age of 16 (for the second degree offense): infancy.
  • If the abducted person was a minor, and the alleged abductor had the permission of the minor’s parent or guardian: consent.
  • If the defendant is the parent, grandparent, sister, brother, aunt, or uncle of the abducted, and the only purpose of the abduction was to assume control of the abducted: familial relationship.
  • A lack of mens rea (“guilty mind”), in that the person did not mean to prevent the abducted person from freeing themselves.
  • Mental illness in the defendant may be a valid defense.

The charges against you are very serious.  Call the law offices of Victor Knapp, Esq., at (718) 263-9000, or contact us online today.