Kidnapping Law in California - Penal Code 207 PC
I have handled many kidnapping cases all over LA County in various courthouses. If it is the type of kidnapping case that carries a potential life sentence, I suggest you hire an attorney who is battle-tested and has dealt with the relevant prosecuting agency and judge on the case. Because of the potential for a life sentence, the prosecutors have a lot of power and negotiating strength to resolve the case.
The way to turn the tide in your favor is to hire an attorney at the Hedding Law Firm who has had success with these types of charges. One big thing I have noticed in kidnapping cases is that the prosecutors often will over file the case and put someone in the position of facing life when it is entirely inappropriate.
It almost seems like a power move to force the defendant to take the deal they want or risk a much more severe sentence. In my opinion, this is not the right way to dispense justice, and I will fight the diplomatic battle in these scenarios to make sure my client gets the proper resolution and is not bullied into a disposition that does not fit the crime.
The two main ways to attack a kidnapping case that has been filed is to show the prosecutors and judge that they can not meet the elements necessary to get a conviction in front of a jury. This is done by attacking their evidence at the preliminary hearing and getting testimony under penalty of perjury that shows they are short of what they need to achieve a conviction.
Another way to point out that the kidnapping charge is too severe is to show the defendant does not fit the profile of someone who should sustain a kidnapping conviction because of their lifestyle and the particular facts of the alleged crime.
If we can show that this is not some sinister plot to steal someone away and that the policy behind the harsh sentencing laws related to this charge is not met, we are in a position to meet with the powers that be and get the result. The client must have! Perhaps we could use coercion or threats of legal defense in certain circumstances.
The Law on Kidnapping - Penal Code 207 PC
The crime of kidnapping is specified under California Penal Code section 207 as moving another person without their consent. If you used force, threat, or fraud, the charges might escalate to aggravated kidnapping under Penal Code 209. If the victim is under 14 years old, you hold the victim for ransom, the victim suffers bodily harm or death, or the kidnap occurs during a carjacking.
As you can see from the above definition, the conduct necessary for an actual kidnapping case is serious. If your claim is not in this severe category, you have a fighting chance to get a less severe charge. If, on the other hand, your case does fit in the severe category, then you better hire an assertive attorney to fight the claim and take the prosecutors to the task.
A conviction requires the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that: you took, detained, or held another person by using force/fear/fraud; that you moved the person or made the person move a distance that is more than slight (sufficient distance determined by jury); the person did not give consent to the movement; you did not have a reasonable or actual belief that the person consented to the action.
As your advocate, our job and duty are to fight on your behalf and build a solid and persuasive case by asserting any applicable defenses on your behalf. Common reasons used in kidnapping cases include the alleged victim may have consented to be moved, there was insufficient evidence, or perhaps you were falsely accused. We are ready to investigate and do everything we can to get the best possible results.
Best Strategy for Kidnapping Case
Kidnapping is a severe charge, and I have handled many of these cases in Van Nuys, San Fernando, and some of the outlying courthouses. Kidnapping is defined under California Penal Code 207. Aggravated kidnapping is defined under Penal Code 209.
A lot of times, kidnapping can be charged in such a way that you're looking at a potential lifetime in prison. There are two separate sections for kidnapping, and if you're accused of the one you're facing, a life that gives the prosecutors a lot of leverage against you or your loved one.
If you're searching for an attorney for your loved one, and I think it's vital that you get an attorney who has handled those types of cases before, had success, been able to keep their clients out of prison for a significant period, and knows the value of a kidnapping case.
The classic kidnapping (CALCRIM 1215) that we think of is when somebody is grabbed off the street, abducted, a bag thrown over their head, and they're kidnapped for some reason like money or some other nefarious reason. That's not most of the kidnapping cases that I see, though.
Penalties for PC 207 Kidnapping
A lot of the kidnapping cases are what I call tortured kidnapping cases. The prosecutors are torturing the kidnapping statute to force a case into that framework to get a severe punishment against a particular individual.
If you're charged with kidnapping, and you're fearful that you will get a very long prison sentence, I suggest you pick up the phone. Make the call. Let's sit down and break down the facts because how you handle these cases is you look at what's going on.
Is this the type of case where somebody should be looking at 15 to life, for example, or is the case over-filed and it's more of a different kind of charge than kidnapping, or is it that the kidnapping charge does not carry a life sentence with it. There's a whole bunch of factors to look at.
Factors Considered in Kidnapping Cases
I can tell you right now that what the prosecutors and judges will be looking at is (1) they're going to look at your criminal record. Do you have a bunch of cases? Do you have prior strikes on your record? Are you a career offender? Are you dangerous? That's the first thing they're going to look at.
I think the second thing they're going to look at is the facts and circumstances surrounding the case you're charged with. I mean, did you kidnap somebody that you don't know — a stranger off the street — for some bad purpose? To rape the person; to keep the person — maybe it's a child. These are the worse cases.
These are the ones that you could bet the prosecutors will be trying to get a life sentence against you for or is it a different situation where they've twisted circumstances into a kidnapping case.
For example, let's say you're in a custody dispute with your significant other and you take your child to Disneyland — you take your child somewhere, and your significant other tells you're not supposed to have the child.
You've stolen the child, and now here you are charged with a kidnapping charge that you really shouldn't be accused of. So, all we can do is break the case down. That's how we strategize. We look at your criminal record. We look at what you're claimed to have done, and then we break things down and decide whether or not this is a case that you should be charged with kidnapping.
Developing a Defense Strategy in Kidnapping Cases
The next thing we're going to look at in strategizing how we'll deal with your case is, can you win the case? In other words, do you have a defense? Can you claim it wasn't you that did what they're claiming, or maybe you didn't have the intent to kidnap anyone? Perhaps it's a different circumstance the police didn't investigate the thing properly.
So we have to look at all the angles and decide if it's a case we're going to fight or is this a case that we really need to work out some resolution on instead of trying to fight the subject and then that will dictate what our strategy is going to be moving forward. So, if you or a loved one has a kidnapping case and you're concerned. You need help, and you're looking for an attorney who has skill and knowledge in this area and has handled thousands of cases in the court where your case is pending.
I specifically know how to deal with a kidnapping place; you've come to the right place. Your next step is to pick up the phone. Make the call. Let's talk either over the phone or in person about what I can do to help you break this thing down, get it resolved, contact you or your loved one out of the criminal justice system as fast as possible.
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