Kidnapping is one of the most serious crimes in Utah law. Depending on the circumstances, it is punished as a second or first-degree felony with a possible life sentence. So, what constitutes kidnapping in Utah? Here are a few examples:
- Taking or detaining a person, for a long period of time, against that person’s will.
- Detaining a person in a situation that exposes that person to risk of harm.
- Holding someone in involuntary servitude.
- Detains a person against that person’s will and moves them a significant distance or across state lines. (Crossing state lines probably makes the kidnapping a federal crime, not just a Utah crime.)
We usually think about kidnapping as a crime committed by a stranger who physically snatches a child. While this happens, kidnappers often never touch their victims. They may make threats that cause a victim to stay with the kidnapper against the victim’s will (e.g., “If you try to leave, I’ll hurt your family.”) If threats like this are used, it’s still kidnapping. Also, it is very likely a kidnapper knows the person being kidnapped. Divorced parents and family members are often charged with kidnapping for taking a child they have no technical legal right to take, even though they might have done so to keep the child from harm.
Please, if you are under investigation for or have been charged with kidnapping, get a Utah kidnapping lawyer. At Brown Law, our experienced Utah criminal defense team will give you the personal service you need to help you fight your kidnapping charge. We will defend your freedom from day one.
Call your Salt Lake kidnapping attorney to schedule your free initial consultation: 801.685.9999 or 800.299.1016.