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Kidnapping in New York State

Posted by Arthur R. Frost | Nov 15, 2018 | 0 Comments

“Kidnapping” is a word that evokes thoughts of someone being taken off the street and held for ransom. While this is, in fact, a form of kidnapping in the state of New York, many people are surprised to learn this isn't the only way one can be guilty of kidnapping.

Kidnapping and Conduct

Instead, there are several different scenarios that could result in kidnapping charges. Abducting a person with the intent to force them to engage in specific conduct, or with the intent to prevent someone from engaging in conduct is also kidnapping. In this form of kidnapping, the intent of the abductor is paramount. For example, if someone abducts a person to keep them from marrying another at a given time, this is first-degree kidnapping regardless of whether or not the marriage was actually prevented.

Kidnapping and the 12-Hour Time Frame

Still, other types of first-degree kidnapping include a time requirement. If a person abducts someone else, and restrains them for more than 12 hours, and intends to do any of the following, they are guilty of kidnapping.

  • Inflict physical injury.
  • Violate or abuse them sexually.
  • Advance the commission of another felony.
  • Accomplish the commission of another felony.
  • Terrorize them.
  • Terrorize another third person.
  • Interfere with the performance of a governmental function.
  • Interfere with the performance of a political function.

Kidnapping and Death

In some cases, a person dies while they are being abducted. In other cases, they die before they are able to return to safety. In both cases, the abductor can be charged with kidnapping. In some cases, the person who was abducted simply does not reappear despite an accused's assertion the person was safely released. Death is presumed in cases where the person “would have been extremely likely to visit or communicate . . . were they alive and free to do so.”

Consequences of Kidnapping in the First Degree

Kidnapping is a Class A-1 Felony. This means it is punishable by at least 15 years in prison, and a maximum of life in prison.

Challenging First Degree Kidnapping Charges

One can challenge a charge of first-degree kidnapping on several different grounds. Often times, the issue revolves around the intent of the alleged abductor. Obviously, one cannot know the mind of another human being. Instead, one must look to the facts and circumstances leading up to the event to determine intent.

Are You Charged with a Crime?

If you are charged with a crime, contact Frost & Kavanaugh. Arthur R. Frost has been representing defendants charged in criminal cases for more than 20 years. Art has handled all types of criminal charges from misdemeanors to felonies, including serious felonies such as murder. Art and the team at Frost & Kavanaugh will work with you every step of the way from the investigation by police to charging to court hearings and trial. Contact us today for a free consultation by calling 518.283.3000.

About the Author

Arthur R. Frost

Art graduated from Thomas More College in Merrimack, NH in 1991 with a B.A. in Philosophy, and graduated from Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, WA in 1995. He was admitted to practice in all New York State Courts and the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York in 1996. He w...


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