The State of California takes the crime of kidnapping seriously, and, if convicted of this felony, individuals face years of imprisonment and heavy fines. Kidnapping is the use of force or fear to move another person, without their consent, and knowing that they did not consent. As with other crimes, the prosecutor has the burden of proof and must set forth evidence supporting all elements of the crime. At The Law Office of Gregory H.Comings, experienced Riverside kidnapping defense lawyer Gregory H. Comings investigates the circumstances surrounding each case and tailors his legal strategy appropriately, providing clients the strongest defense possible. If you have been charged with kidnapping and are seeking legal representation, we are prepared to advocate on your behalf.
California Penal Code section 207(a) defines the crime of kidnapping. As a serious felony, kidnapping counts as a strike on a criminal record. In addition to up to eight years imprisonment and a fine of $10,000, if there are aggravating circumstances the sentence can extend to life in prison.
Prosecutors seeking to hold a defendant liable for kidnapping must show that they held another person through force or by instilling fear; and using that force or fear they moved the other person a substantial distance; the other person did not consent to the movement, and; the defendant did not actually and reasonably believe that the other person consented to the movement. Contact a kidnapping defense attorney in Riverside to learn more.
Using force or fear to move someone means actually inflicting physical force upon the victim, or threatening to inflict imminent physical harm. Fear can include threats to harm the victim’s family if they do not meet demands. Threats to abuse the victim if they do not comply have also met the fear requirement, such as has demanding the victim comply while they are held at gunpoint.
A substantial distance is more than a slight, trivial distance. Determining whether a distance is substantial requires looking at all circumstances relating to the movement. Considerations include the actual distance moved, whether the movement decreased the likelihood of being caught, and whether the movement increased the risk of harm to the victim. Whether the movement is substantial enough is a question of fact for the judge or jury to decide.
A skilled kidnapping defense lawyer in Riverside will present your legal options in a clear manner. Attorney Comings brings more than a decade of experience to his representation of people facing serious criminal charges. Our office is proud to serve clients throughout the areas of Palm Desert, Temecula, Palm Springs, Fontana, Highland, San Bernardino, and Rancho Cucamonga. At The Law Office of Gregory H.Comings, we provide a case evaluation and can be reached by calling (951) 686-3457 or through our online form.