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How can I defend against kidnapping charges?

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Kidnapping is a serious crime both at the state and federal level. Basically, this is a crime that involves the removing, transporting and holding another person against their will.

In New Jersey, a conviction for kidnapping – whether in the first or second degree – can lead to serious penalties. And if murder happens in the kidnapping process, you may be charged with first-degree murder. If you are wrongfully charged with kidnapping – regardless of whether any complicating factors are at play in your situation – it is important that you explore your defense options.

How does New Jersey define kidnapping?

Broadly, New Jersey law defines kidnapping as any situation where an individual is abducted and confined for the purposes of:

  • Facilitating another crime
  • Terrorizing or inflicting physical or emotional harm on the victim
  • Depriving a parent of their child’s custody
  • Interfering with government operation

In simple English, you might end up the focus of a kidnapping charge for losing your cool during an argument and locking your spouse in a room. Fleeing with your child while your divorce case is underway can also amount to kidnapping.

Defending kidnapping charges

Like other types of criminal cases, the key to defending a kidnapping charge is to establish the circumstances surrounding your charge. These are defense options that you can explore when charged with kidnapping:

The victim’s consent – To prove their case, the prosecution must demonstrate that you moved the victim against their will. If you can show that the victim consented to the move, then you can cast doubt on the prosecution’s case. This defense works best if the jury or court believes that you are credible.

You acted under duress — If you are under the threat of violence or blackmail, you might end up committing the crime of kidnapping. To successfully cite this defense, you may need to produce witness testimony.

Protecting your rights

If you are charged with the crime of kidnapping, there is much at stake. Learning more about your defense options can help you protect your rights and potentially achieve a favorable outcome when facing kidnapping charges.