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New York Kidnapping Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Kidnapping?

Kidnapping is a crime that involves abducting another person. New York law defines 3 types of kidnapping: taking someone from one place to another against their will (kidnapping in the first degree), confining someone in a controlled space against their will (kidnapping in the second degree), and custodial interference.

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What Is the Difference Between Kidnapping in the First Degree, and Kidnapping in the Second Degree?

Both kidnapping in the first degree and kidnapping in the second degree are serious felonies, that could land you in prison for years. If you face either of these charges, it is critical that you have an experienced New York kidnapping lawyer as early in your case as possible.

Kidnapping in the second degree is the less serious of the two crimes and involves restraining the victim in order to prevent the victim from being free. This can be done by keeping the victim in a place where he (or she) will not be found, or by the use of threats or force. It is a class B violent felony, punishable by up to 25 years in prison.

The abduction will be bumped up to kidnapping in the first degree if you demand money or a ransom, or the victim dies. You will also face a first degree kidnapping charge if you restrain the victim for more than 12 hours with the intent to harm, sexually assault, terrorize, commit a felony, or impact a political function. Kidnapping in the first degree is a class A-1 felony. If you are convicted you may be sent to prison for the rest of your life.

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What Is Unlawful Imprisonment?

Unlawful imprisonment, sometimes called false imprisonment, is a crime that involves restraining another person. As a kidnapping attorney serving New York will explain, you will face the charge of unlawful imprisonment in the second degree if you restrain someone, but do so in a manner that does not pose a risk of physical harm. It is a class A misdemeanor and carries a possible sentence of up to a year in jail. If you restrain someone in a manner that does put him at risk of physical injury, the charge will be bumped up to unlawful imprisonment in the first degree, a class E felony, with a possible sentence of up to 4 years in prison.

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What Is Custodial Interference?

Custodial interference occurs when someone takes a child from a parent with the intent of interfering with the parent’s ability to have custody of or parenting time with the child. It is considered a form of kidnapping. Typically, it occurs when one parent is unhappy with the court ordered custody arrangement.

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Is Kidnapping a Federal Crime?

Kidnapping is typically a violation of state law. However, if the offender takes the victim across state lines, federal authorities will become involved and the offender will be charged with a federal crime. Federal law (18 U.S.C. Section 1201) makes kidnapping a serious felony offense. The penalty is imprisonment for at least 20 years.

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Still Have Questions? Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates for Help

If you are under investigation for a kidnapping offense, or if you have been charged, you should immediately seek legal guidance from an experienced kidnapping attorney serving New York. A criminal conviction will impact the rest of your life. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, and custodial interference, as well as other felonies and misdemeanors. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of burglary in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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