Kidnapping is considered a violent crime in Nevada because to carry it out, the perpetrator must use physical force and even use ways that will undoubtedly harm the victim. There are many cases of Las Vegas kidnapping and it is vital for you to understand the laws surrounding them especially if you are visiting or residing in the area. You will never know but you can be the next victim or the person wrongfully accused of it.
Degrees of kidnapping
There are two degrees of kidnapping. The worst one which is the first-degree kidnapping is basically the seizure of a person without their consent with the aim to sexually abuse them or hold them for ransom.
The other is second-degree kidnapping practically has the same elements done in a less serious manner. For example, the victim did not incur any injury during the kidnapping.
Other factors, such as usage of deadly weapon during kidnapping, can aggravate the two degrees and could cause even graver penalties.
Keep in mind that the victim being tied up or gagged is not an important requirement for the crime to be determined as kidnapping—as long the victim was unlawfully taken away or detained, the act will still be considered as kidnapping and is punishable by law. This is because most of the time, culprits use mental intimidation and not physical harm to restrain the victim.
Punishments for kidnapping
Anyone who is guilty of willfully seizing, abducting, or confining another person, or first-degree kidnapping must face a category A felony. This usually means life imprisonment without the possibility of a parole or a life imprisonment with the possibility of parole only after 15 years have been served. If the victim did not endure any physical damage, the penalties could dial down to life imprisonment with possibility of parole after serving for five years.
A second-degree kidnapping, on the other hand, is a category B felony which leads to two to 15 years behind bars and fine that should not exceed $15,000.
Las Vegas kidnapping becomes a subject of federal jurisdiction when the act involves crossing of state lines. An example is a kidnapper driving the victim from Las Vegas, Nevada to Los Angeles, California.
When it is a federal kidnapping, the perpetrator will not be charged for either a first-degree or second-degree kidnapping as the federal law does not employ these grounds. However, the culprit could still very well be charged with any of the degree from the State of Nevada.
Defenses against accusations of kidnapping
Some defendants of Las Vegas kidnapping are totally unaware that they were committing kidnapping at the time of the offense. With this, one of the defenses you can use to bar off potential punishments, is you have no intention of kidnapping the victim. To illustrate, you are a parent and you simply left home with your child because your partner is abusing you and your child. The court could use your side as a victim of domestic violence to justify the alleviation of the charges. Another defense is that the victim was never transported or relocated. If you prove this with the right evidence then you could only be charged with false imprisonment.
Defenses of lack of proof and that you were acting under duress are also standard defenses that you should consider.
Taking or confining a person out of their will is a violation of their rights to freedom. Avoid punishments for kidnapping with the help of a legal representation in the form of a Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer in Nevada!