Is kidnapping a felony?
How to handle abduction charges in Columbus, Ohio
Because kidnapping or abduction is considered one of the most serious crimes in Ohio, it carries some of the harshest penalties. In fact, it’s automatically classified as a first- or second-degree felony, depending on the risk of physical harm to the victim.
Kidnapping charges don’t just carry high stakes—they can be extremely challenging cases to try. Between the risk of double jeopardy and the possibility of life in prison, only a skilled criminal defense attorney can wade through Ohio laws to clench a favorable judgement.
Kidnapping, under Ohio law, is the removal of another person from the place they are found by force, threat, restraint or to hold another in involuntary servitude, for the purposes of holding for ransom, facilitating a felony, terrorizing or inflicting harm, engaging in sexual acts, impeding government activity or forcing involuntary acts.
What are the penalties for kidnapping?
If the kidnapping creates a substantial risk of serious physical harm to the victim, it is a first-degree felony and the offender will be sentenced to a minimum of fifteen years in prison and a maximum term of life imprisonment. If the offender releases the victim in a safe place unharmed, such kidnapping is a second-degree felony and he offender can be sentenced to a minimum term of ten years and a maximum term of life in prison.
Because kidnapping is defined as restraining the liberty of another person, several other factors can come into play when a person faces multiple charges. For example, this definition creates an increased risk of double jeopardy in kidnapping convictions because, by definition, every robbery, rape, or assault would constitute kidnapping. To avoid this, the state of Ohio enacted a statute that prohibits multiple convictions for the same acts unless the defendant exhibits a separate intent.
Many factors contribute to the severity your potential punishment, making these laws can be tricky to decipher and understand. If you’re charged with kidnapping or abduction in Ohio, you will need a skilled criminal defense attorney to help you untangle Ohio’s legislation web.
Contact Yavitch & Palmer today
Our Columbus criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to being professional, honest and thorough when analyzing your case and discussing your questions. To meet with Stephen Palmer, please call us at 614-224-6142 or fill out our online contact form.