Kidnapping Charges: They Only Require Intent

Kidnapping is a serious crime. Yet, what is most important to understand is the fact that kidnapping is an all-encompassing crime. Unlike the movies, to be charged and convicted of this felony, it does not have to be dramatic; it is only required that the intent to kidnap be present. Learn about some of the circumstances that can lead to this charge.

Intent to Entrap

One of the main components of a kidnapping conviction involves a scenario in which the accused acted with the full intent to entrap the other individual. It is not necessary to prove that the accused intended to cause harm, so it is important to understand this distinction.

Even if the victim walks away with zero physical harm or mental trauma, the fact that the accused entrapped them intentionally against their will is generally all the court needs to establish a case. For this reason, any person accused of this crime should speak with a felony attorney as soon as possible.

Non-Physical Restraint

Again, in movies kidnapping typically plays out dramatically with the victim physically restrained and prevented from leaving. However, the legal threshold is much lower. An individual can be charged and convicted of felony kidnapping even when a non-physical form of restraint is used. 

Threatening physical harm, threatening to withhold essential needs, such as food or shelter, or threatening to blackmail another person if they leave can all fall under the umbrella of kidnapping. Remember, kidnapping is essentially an act that forces an individual to stay within a situation against their will. So, anytime someone prevents the free will of another, they could be committing a crime.

Agreement Violation

Whenever the court sets a custody agreement in place, each party is required to follow this agreement. Sometimes, parents find themselves on the wrong side of the law when they do not. A parent can be charged with kidnapping when they intentionally fail to return a child to the other parent at the agreed-upon time or fails to relay information about the delay to the other party. 

Kidnapping charges can also arise if the parent threatens the other parent with harm if they report that the child has not been returned. Although they are less common, custody agreements for incapacitated adults can be held to the same kidnapping penalties if not followed. 

If you face a felony charge of kidnapping, you should speak with an attorney to ensure your rights are protected.