The big screen often glamorizes kidnapping with well-planned abductions and big-ticket ransoms. However, nothing is farther from the truth. Kidnapping is usually an unplanned crime, committed in the heat of the moment and often with the perpetrator not fully aware that he has broken the law.
Kidnapping in Arizona is a serious crime that involves intentionally restraining another person and instilling fear of immediate physical harm on that person, among other factors defined by law. You do not necessarily have to hide or attempt to move the victim for your actions to be defined as kidnapping. Thus, you could already be charged with kidnapping if you restrain a person even for a moment. As you may find out later there are very unique aspects that define kidnapping in the state of Arizona.
What is the definition of Kidnapping in Arizona?
As with any criminal charge, the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. You are deemed guilty of kidnapping in Arizona if you purposefully restrain a person with the intent to:
- Hold the victim for ransom, as a shield or hostage
- Hold the victim for involuntary servitude
- Inflict death, physical injury, or sexual offense
- Create fear of immediate bodily harm
- Unlawfully take control of a vehicle, ai plane, watercraft, bus, train or other form of public transportation
Felony charges vary depending on circumstances
Any form of kidnapping in Arizona is charged as a felony. The charges range from a Class 4 to a Class 2 felony. All kidnapping sentences are set to run consecutively – not concurrently – with the sentencing for any other crime.
A Class 4 felony can be charged if the accused voluntarily releases the victim to a safe place before committing any other offense, prior to getting arrested. It is punishable by 1.5 to 3.75 years jail time, with four years of probation and a fine.
When the victim is voluntarily released unharmed because of negotiations with government officials, it is considered a Class 3 felony kidnapping charge and is punishable by at least 5 to a maximum of 15 years jail time with up to five years probation and a fine.
If the accused refuses to release the victim before they are arrested and the victim is under 15 years old, the charge will be Class 2 felony kidnapping. It is the most serious offense and carries a prison sentence of 7 to 21 years in prison.
In addition to jail time and fines, felonies in Arizona come with consequences like ineligibility for certain professional opportunities or government assistance and loss of certain civil rights.
Let Howard Snader Law help you
If you are facing charges of kidnapping in Arizona, it is strongly advised that you get in touch with a skilled lawyer who can evaluate your case and prepare all possible defenses.
At Howard Snader Law, we will work with you to reduce your charges and keep you out of jail. Talk to our experienced criminal defense attorneys now.