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Secrets to Defending a Kidnapping Case in Los Angeles

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding | Jun 29, 2024

I've been handling kidnapping cases since the early 1990s. I've had a lot of success and results. One of the biggest secrets to defending these kidnapping cases is to see if the client is charged with California Penal Code Section 209 or Section 207.

The prosecutors have to prove specific elements for each of these charges, and you should get the jury's instructions and go through each element to see if the prosecutors can prove it.

You'd be surprised that simple exercise often shows weaknesses in the prosecutor's case; this is not really a kidnapping case and should not be filed as such.

Another thing that I've been able to do to attack some of these kidnapping charges, as they relate to other offenses associated with them, is to be able to argue that this is not a kidnapping offense.

It's more of an offense related to the other charge, and the kidnapping is part of that charge, so it should not be charged as a separate crime.

It's not fair to put that 209, which carries life on somebody, when it's not truly a kidnapping case or a person is attempting to take another person against their will, move them a substantial distance, or some crime like kidnapping, kidnapping for ransom or some other angle, and that's really what prosecutors should have to be able to prove if they want to mount an argument to get somebody for a kidnapping charge.

Open Communication

Open communication is the cornerstone of our defense strategy. When I take on a kidnapping case, the first step is to sit down with the client and discuss every detail under the protection of attorney-client privilege.

I would strongly encourage clients to be forthright with me, as honesty is crucial in deciding the best defense for their case.

Independent Investigation

There are usually a couple of ways to attack these cases. One is to get the case for a preliminary hearing, do our investigation, and get ready to try to dig in and prove the prosecutors have not proved each element of the charged crime.

The second way to show the prosecutors is that this is not a kidnapping charge related to the spirit of the kidnapping statute; therefore, another charge is applicable. The client should not have to plea to kidnapping but instead should plea to a different charge.

Fighting vs. Negotiation

So, right off the bat, we discuss whether this case should be fought or resolved. Again, many of these kidnapping charges are over-filed.

The prosecutors are trying to get leverage against the defendant so they can work out some other arrangement because the defendant is concerned that they could get convicted of kidnapping and possibly face the rest of their life in prison.

That's where you need a seasoned defense attorney to evaluate whether it's a legitimate kidnapping charge, see if a mitigation package could be put forth to the prosecutors to convince them to give something other than a kidnapping charge, and if it makes sense, to fight the case and try to get the kidnapping charge dismissed.

If you need the best, you or a loved one is charged with California Penal Code Section 209 of Penal Code Section 207, kidnapping; pick up the phone now. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. Let me put my 30 years of defense work at your disposal and do everything possible to get you the best possible result. The Hedding Law Firm is based in Los Angeles, CA.

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About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding

What Makes Ronald Hedding Uniquely Qualified To Represent You? I've been practicing criminal defense for almost 30 years and have handled thousands of cases, including all types of state and federal sex crime cases. All consultations are discreet and confidential.