Columbia Kidnapping Lawyer

Accusations that you kidnapped someone, especially a minor, are extremely significant. Regardless of whether it comes from malicious intent or a terrible misunderstanding, kidnapping charges must be taken seriously. Even a first-time offender may face lifelong repercussions if they are convicted. Further, certain circumstances can make penalties more severe.

A skilled defense attorney could work to protect your rights and discuss possible strategies with you. You should prioritize contacting a Columbia kidnapping lawyer immediately.

Local Kidnapping Laws

Kidnapping is a felony. Felonies are more serious crimes than misdemeanors and have harsher consequences. Under South Carolina Code §16-3-910, specific criteria must be met for someone to be guilty of kidnapping. First, the taking of the other person must have been unlawful–the defendant must not have had legal permission to take the victim with them. Second, the following actions are included under the definition of kidnapping: seizing, confining, inveigling, decoying, kidnapping, abducting, or carrying away. Finally, the alleged kidnapping must have been without the authority of the law. A person needs to hire a lawyer who knows the intricacies of local kidnapping laws because the tiniest details can help a case.

Notably, South Carolina Code does not define the distance or length of time an alleged victim must have been kidnapped. Under the law, a number of circumstances can be considered kidnapping. For example, confining someone in a particular room can be considered kidnapping, as well as moving someone with force to a different place. Notably, it is not kidnapping if a parent seizes or takes their minor child. However, a parent or anyone who violates a custody order and takes a child from the legal custodial has committed Custodial Interference under South Carolina Code §16-17-495. It is wise to hire an attorney who can explain in detail what kind of circumstances help or hurt the validity of a kidnapping charge in Columbia.

Potential Consequences of Kidnapping Charges

Kidnapping is a felony with serious consequences. It is punishable by jail time of no more than 30 years unless the defendant is sentenced for murder, as explained in South Carolina Code §16-3-20. Even when the person has never been convicted before, they can still face a full 30 years of imprisonment. Different circumstances can affect penalties, such as if the kidnapping occurred during the commission of a robbery or due to a custody dispute. Due to the risk accompanying the potential penalties of a kidnapping charge in Columbia, a person needs to have a lawyer by their side.

Out of their interest to protect minors from abduction and sexual exploitation states harshly punish kidnappers. The South Carolina Sex Offender Registry is a public database of convicted sexual offenders. Anyone who has been found guilty of kidnapping a minor is automatically placed on the registry. When the alleged victim was over the age of 18, the only way a defendant can avoid registration is to have the sentencing judge rule that the kidnapping did not include any sexual offense or intent.

Hire a Columbia Kidnapping Attorney Today

There can be serious repercussions for a kidnapping conviction. Defendants who come to court without an attorney are at a serious disadvantage. The legal system can be difficult to understand on your own. Knowing your options and your rights under the law is the first step, and retaining legal representation should be at the top of your list of priorities. You need an attorney who always keeps in mind that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Talk to a Columbia kidnapping lawyer today.