Kidnapping Laws in California - Penal Code 207 PC
In California, kidnapping is a serious felony offense requiring a strong, aggressive, confident defense lawyer.
A Los Angeles criminal defense attorney at our law firm has experience in handling kidnapping cases, and we have seen great results. We are knowledgeable in all laws, court procedures, and defenses to assert on our client's behalf.
Simple Kidnapping vs. Aggravated Kidnapping
California Penal Code section 207, referred to as simple kidnapping, occurs when you move another person without his or her consent.
If you used force, threat, or fraud, the victim was under 14 years old, you hold the victim for ransom, the victim suffers bodily harm or death, or the kidnap occurs during a carjacking, then you will be charged with aggravated kidnapping which has harsher penalties than a simple kidnapping.
To be convicted, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant took, detained, or held another person by using force/fear/fraud; that the defendant moved the person or made the person move a distance that is more than slight (whether the distance moved is sufficient is a matter to be considered by the jury); the person did not give consent to the movement; the defendant did not have a reasonable or actual belief that the person consented to the movement.
Will You Get Life in Prison If Charged with Kidnapping?
I've handled hundreds of California Penal Code 207 PC kidnapping charges over the years, and I'll tell you, most of these charges are over-filed. Meaning that prosecutors should never be filing for kidnapping, but they're so angry with what they see in the police report that they decide to put the screws on a particular defendant.
You will only get life in prison if you're charged with Penal Code Section 209 – that's the kidnapping that carries life. Penal Code Section 207 does not carry life.
So, first, you have to be charged with the right Penal Code Section to get a chance at life. I don't see many people getting life in a kidnapping case, but it depends on the circumstances.
The kidnappings they're trying to give people life relate to kidnapping children – where they're trying to take the child and keep the child, versus someone who's the child's parent and is just disobeying a court order. You shouldn't do that, but that's not the type of kidnapping; in my opinion, that should garner a life sentence.
Also, if you have a horrible criminal record and prior strikes and pick up a kidnapping, you'd be facing a life sentence because prosecutors and judges don't mess around with those types of cases.
You also, in my opinion, have to be trying to kidnap somebody. Sometimes you got people moving another person to commit another crime. They're not kidnapping. They never intend to keep the person.
They're just moving them to commit another crime, and many times, whatever they're doing in the kidnapping is part and parcel of the crime they're being charged with.
For example, robbery. They move some people inside a store, and now they're suddenly charged with robbery and kidnapping. That's a robbery case, in my opinion. That's not a kidnapping case. So, if you or a loved one is charged with kidnapping, you can see it can get a little bit complicated, but you also have some play here if you've got the right criminal defense attorney.
So, it's not always the same if you want the best strategy. It depends on the facts and circumstances of your case – you want somebody who can not only negotiate these cases but win them if they're over-filed – then you've come to the right place.
If you or a loved one is charged with kidnapping, you need a champion on your side –someone who can fight the prosecutor tooth and nail. One who can negotiate with the prosecutors – who has connections with the upper echelon prosecutors – knows how to deal with the judges in these cases and how to fight these kidnapping cases.
Because, again, a lot of them are over-filed. They're not fair, but you can shout from the rafters that it's not fair. So you better bring in somebody who can fight and get it dismissed if it's not fair.
You better bring in someone who can negotiate it – get the prosecutors to dismiss and offer something else if you've committed a crime, but it shouldn't be a kidnapping charge. You've come to the right place. Pick up the phone now. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. I stand at the ready to help you.
Defenses for Kidnapping
Some of the defenses that our lawyers may be able to assert on your behalf are: the alleged victim may have consented to be moved; there was insufficient evidence; perhaps you were falsely accused. In any case, we are here to help you and to investigate your case looking for any applicable defenses we may assert or any ambiguities regarding the charges placed against you.
We understand the seriousness of this offense, and we want to help. Contact a Los Angeles kidnapping defense lawyer at the Hedding Law Firm to work with a defense team who will aggressively fight for your legal rights.