New York Federal Kidnapping Lawyer
The charge of Kidnapping, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1201, is extremely serious, carrying with it some of the most severe punishments available in federal courts, including mandatory life imprisonment and the death penalty. Even the charge of Attempted Kidnapping is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment (18 U.S.C. § 1201(d)); if the victim of a kidnapping is under the age of 18 and the perpetrator over that age and not a close family member or legal custodian, the crime is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison according to 18 U.S.C. § 1201(g). A defendant facing the catastrophic consequences of a conviction for this crime is fighting for his life and should retain a top New York federal kidnapping lawyer who has experience with this complex charge.
When May Someone Face Federal Charges for Kidnapping?
Not every kidnapping, may be prosecuted in federal court. According to 18 U.S.C. §1201(a), for federal jurisdiction to attach, the defendant must have seized, confined, abducted, or carried away another person and one of the following additional conditions must be present:
- The victim was transported in interstate or foreign commerce, regardless of whether he or she was alive when transported, or the defendant traveled in interstate or foreign commerce or used the mail or any means, facility, or instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce in committing or in furtherance of the commission of the kidnapping;
- The victim was abducted within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States;
- The victim was abducted within the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States;
- The victim is a foreign official, an internationally protected person, or an official guest; or
- The victim is a designated federal officer or employee.
The federal Kidnapping charge, however, does not routinely apply to matters involving the abducting of a minor by a parent, except for the crime of International Parental Kidnapping. Even then, the child victim must have been under the age of 16 and the defendant must have intended to deny another’s parental rights by his or her conduct pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1204.
Is Kidnapping for Ransom a Federal Crime?
In addition to the charges for kidnapping and attempted kidnapping outlined above, another related federal charge is kidnapping for ransom, as defined under 18 U.S.C. §1202. Under this law, it is a federal offense to accept, own, or get rid of ransom funds when someone knows the money was used for the purpose of obtaining ransom for a kidnapping.
A person who violates this statute may have to pay a certain fine amount and/or spend up to ten years in jail. A person also may face federal penalties under this statute if they convey ransom funds across state or international boundaries, and the funds originated from a kidnapping offense that carries a prison term of more than 12 months. A federal defense attorney in New York could help someone build a case against their kidnapping for ransom charges.
What are the Potential Defenses Against Federal Kidnapping Charges?
A New York criminal attorney could offer advice regarding the best way to fight back against a federal kidnapping charge based on the specific circumstances involved. For instance, it may be a plausible defense to state that the alleged kidnapee agreed to go with the accused. Sometimes, it could be shown that the accused did not intend to kidnap the person in the first place and was not aware that their actions fulfilled the criteria for a kidnapping charge.
Call a Top Federal Kidnapping Criminal Attorney Today
Considering the drastic consequences of a conviction, a skilled New York federal kidnapping lawyer must be retained if you or a loved one has been charged with this offense. Only in this way can all defenses be explored and a positive result may follow. Attorneys at our office have successfully handled many of these federal cases for decades and have achieved the best possible outcomes for our clients.