Kidnapping is a serious offense that carries severe penalties, yet many people might not know the actual definition of the crime.
In Georgia, kidnapping involves more than just taking someone against their will. If the police have charged you or someone you love with this crime, it is important to understand what constitutes kidnapping.
Abducting or stealing away
Abducting or stealing away refers to the actual act of taking someone. If you take someone without their consent or knowledge, whether through force, deceit or allure, the authorities consider it kidnapping.
Without lawful authority
Taking someone without lawful authority means that you did not have a legal right to commit the act. For instance, a parent with legal custody of a child will not face kidnapping charges for taking their child, unless it interferes with another person’s legal rights. But if someone takes a child without the right or permission, believing they have a good reason does not protect them from charges.
Holding against their will
The crime of kidnapping does not stop once you take the person. If you hold someone and prevent them from leaving or seeking help, it intensifies the severity of the crime. The person held does not have to experience physical restraint. Threats, intimidation or other means that make them feel trapped can also qualify.
Distance plays a factor
In some places, the distance you move a person might influence the kidnapping charge. But in Georgia, even moving a person a short distance can lead to a kidnapping charge if the crime’s other elements exist.
The penalties for kidnapping will vary depending on the severity of the crime. For example, if you take someone over 14 years old, you could face between 10 and 20 years in prison. However, if you abduct a child under 14 years old, you could face between 25 years and life in prison.
Kidnapping covers a range of actions. It is important to understand Georgia law regarding kidnapping, so you can formulate a solid defense against the charges.