New York Penal Law § 135.25: Kidnapping in the first degree

Kidnapping is one of the most serious crimes in the New York criminal code. It involves restraining and holding a person in a concealed location without that person's consent. There are two degrees of the crime of kidnapping in the New York criminal code: kidnapping in the first degree and kidnapping in the second degree. Kidnapping in the second degree is defined as abducting another person. Under New York Penal Law § 135.25, an abduction will be raised to the level of kidnapping in the first degree if any of the following factors is involved:

  1. Ransom is demanded
  2. The victim dies
  3. The victim is restrained for more than 12 hours so that you can physically injure or sexually assault the victim, commit another felony, terrorize a third person, or interfere with the performance of a governmental or political function
Example

With the help of her nanny, Robert abducts 5 year old Vivian from a playground. Knowing that Vivian's parents are quite wealthy, Robert demands $1,000,000 for the safe return of Vivian. Both Robert and the nanny could be prosecuted for kidnapping in the first degree since they were both involved the abduction and they demanded ransom.

Related Offenses
  1. Unlawful imprisonment in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 135.05
  2. Unlawful imprisonment in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 135.10
  3. Kidnapping in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 135.20
Defenses

One important defense to a charge of kidnapping is consent. If the victim agreed to go with you and to remain at that location, then you have a defense to a charge of kidnapping in the second degree. Under New York Penal Law § 135.30, a defense to a charge of kidnapping is that you are a relative of the person who was abducted and the purpose of the abduction was to assume control of that person.

Sentence

Kidnapping in the first degree is a class A-I felony. If you are convicted you could spend the rest of your life in prison. The minimum sentence would be 15-40 years.

New York Penal Law § 135.25: Kidnapping in the first degree

A person is guilty of kidnapping in the first degree when he abducts another person and when:

  1. His intent is to compel a third person to pay or deliver money or property as ransom, or to engage in other particular conduct, or to refrain from engaging in particular conduct; or
  2. He restrains the person abducted for a period of more than twelve hours with intent to:
    1. Inflict physical injury upon him or violate or abuse him sexually; or
    2. Accomplish or advance the commission of a felony; or
    3. Terrorize him or a third person; or
    4. Interfere with the performance of a governmental or political function; or
  3. The person abducted dies during the abduction or before he is able to return or to be returned to safety. Such death shall be presumed, in a case where such person was less than sixteen years old or an incompetent person at the time of the abduction, from evidence that his parents, guardians or other lawful custodians did not see or hear from him following the termination of the abduction and prior to trial and received no reliable information during such period persuasively indicating that he was alive. In all other cases, such death shall be presumed from evidence that a person whom the person abducted would have been extremely likely to visit or communicate with during the specified period were he alive and free to do so did not see or hear from him during such period and received no reliable information during such period persuasively indicating that he was alive.
Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are convicted of kidnapping in the first degree without doubt at a minimum you will spend several years in prison. However, just because you were charged with this crime does not mean that you will be convicted. There may be defenses that may result in the charges against you being dropped or reduced. Thus, it is important that you immediately seek experienced legal guidance. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with kidnapping, assault, stalking, and other serious crimes. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of larceny in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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