Kidnapping is an extremely serious crime that not only carries the possibility of a lengthy term of incarceration upon conviction but also subjects anyone found guilty of the crime to mandatory sex offender registration. This is regardless of whether the motivation for the offense had nothing to do with sex. However, there are many defenses to kidnapping charges, and it's important for those facing these charges to familiarize themselves with the offense, what the government needs to prove, and what defenses may be available.
At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, our dedicated Charlotte kidnapping lawyers have decades of combined experience defending individuals charged with serious felony crimes, including kidnapping and abduction of children. We recognize what you're going through in the aftermath of this type of accusation and are prepared to defend against the government's case on all fronts.What Is Kidnapping in North Carolina?
Despite its name, kidnapping doesn't just apply to children. In fact, under North Carolina General Statutes § 14-39, kidnapping is defined as unlawfully confining, restraining, or removing another person. As the crime relates to minors, the prosecution must prove that you did not have their parent or guardian's consent. However, as the crime applies to adults, the prosecution must prove that you didn't have the alleged victim's consent.
However, taking someone without their permission isn't always kidnapping. The prosecution must also prove that the purpose for taking the alleged victim had to do with one of the following:
- Holding someone for ransom;
- Facilitating the commission of another felony;
- Causing serious bodily injury;
- Terrorizing the alleged victim or another third party;
- Holding someone in involuntary servitude;
- Human trafficking; or
- Holding someone in sexual servitude.
The punishment for kidnapping in North Carolina depends on the nature of the government's allegations. For example, if the alleged victim was released in a safe place and was not hurt or subject to sexual assault, the offense is a Class E felony. However, if the alleged victim was not released in a safe place, was injured, or was sexually assaulted, the offense is a Class B felony.
Class C and Class E felonies carry a maximum term of 231 and 88 months incarceration, respectively. Kidnapping is also a registerable sex offense, and therefore, under North Carolina law, the maximum period of incarceration for a kidnapping conviction is increased by 48 months. Thus, a Class C felony kidnapping conviction can result in up to 279 months imprisonment and a Class E felony kidnapping conviction in 136 months imprisonment.Can a Parent Be Charged with Kidnapping in North Carolina?
Yes, nothing in North Carolina's kidnapping statute prevents the law from being applied to a parent who takes their child contrary to an enforceable custody order. However, the prosecution would still need to prove that the parent's intent in doing so fit within the kidnapping statute. For example, the prosecution may claim that the objective of the kidnapping parent was to terrorize their former spouse.Defenses to Kidnapping
While kidnapping is a very serious crime, there are many defenses that might apply in your case. Some of the most common kidnapping defenses include the following:
- Your purpose of taking, confining or removing the alleged victim was to protect them from someone else;
- The alleged victim (or someone else) fabricated the allegations;
- The alleged victim (or their parent) gave you their consent;
Of course, there are also defenses to enhanced kidnapping penalties, for example, by challenging whether the alleged victim actually experienced serious injury.Have You Been Charged with Kidnapping in North Carolina?
If you are charged with kidnapping, it is imperative that you seek a dedicated Charlotte criminal defense attorney who will take your case as seriously as you do. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, our dedicated team of defense attorneys is committed to aggressively advocating on behalf of clients charged with serious crimes. We are prepared to do everything possible to ensure your arrest has as little impact on your future as possible. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with one of our Charlotte kidnapping lawyers, give us a call at 704-405-2580. You can also reach our Cabarrus County defense attorneys at 704-918-4747. We represent clients in Charlotte, Concord and Kannapolis, as well as throughout Mecklenburg, Gaston, Iredell, Rowan, and Union Counties.