Kidnapping is one of the most serious crimes in Pennsylvania. If you have been charged with kidnapping in Philadelphia, not only are you facing lengthy prison sentences and expensive fines – in addition, having a kidnapping felony on your record can make it difficult to take advantage of life’s opportunities, such as finding a job or applying for a loan toward a car or a house. Between prison time, criminal fines, restitution, and the consequences of having a felony record, a kidnapping conviction can have devastating effects on your future. If you have been arrested for kidnapping in Philadelphia, you need urgent legal help from an aggressive defense lawyer.
Criminal attorney Lloyd Long,
Types of Kidnapping Charges in PA
Kidnapping is a crime under 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 2901. For a defendant to be found guilty of kidnapping, the prosecutor needs to show that certain facts and details, called “elements” of the offense, are true. First, the prosecutor needs to show that one of the following statements applies to the defendant:
- The defendant moved the victim by “a substantial distance” from the place where the victim was found.
- The defendant illegally confined the victim in an isolated place “for a substantial period” of time.
Then, the prosecutor needs to show the defendant’s intent, which means proving that the defendant wanted to accomplish one of the following goals:
- Collecting a ransom/reward, or holding the victim as a hostage.
- Making it easier to commit, or flee from, a felony.
- Injuring or terrorizing the victim or a different person (such as the victim’s parent).
- Interfering with government functions or a political process.
Other than kidnapping, there are also several related offenses that a person can be charged with. Some of these offenses are more serious than others, which means that criminal penalties can vary from case to case. However, most kidnapping-related charges are felonies with potential for years in prison. Penalties for kidnapping in Pennsylvania are explained in the next section.
Many people assume that kidnapping involves a stranger luring a victim into their vehicle. In reality, many kidnapping cases revolve around a family that is going through a difficult divorce. One parent can be charged with a crime called “custodial interference,” or “interference with custody of children,” if he or she violates the family court’s custody orders by attempting to take the child from the other parent. The statute 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 2904 makes custodial interference a crime. Other kidnapping-related offenses we handle at the Law Offices of Lloyd Long include:
- Criminal coercion (18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 2906)
- False imprisonment (18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 2903)
- Kidnapping a minor (18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 2901(a.1))
Luringa child into a vehicle or structure (18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 2910)
- Unlawful restraint (18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 2902)
Kidnapping Sentence in PA
Kidnapping is generally a
Unlawful restraint is generally a
False imprisonment is typically a
Custodial interference is typically a
Criminal coercion is generally
Contact Philadelphia Kidnapping Defense Lawyer Lloyd Long for a Free Consultation
At the Law Offices of Lloyd Long, our legal team has the comprehensive understanding of Pennsylvania laws and court proceedings to help you navigate through any complexities you may encounter in your case. Philadelphia kidnapping attorney Lloyd Long can listen to your side of the story, investigate the circumstances of the alleged crime, and develop a strong and customized defense strategy on your behalf. To talk confidentially in a free legal consultation, contact our law offices online, or call (215) 525-6818 seven days a week, 24 hours a day for help.