Kidnapping

Mercer County NJ Kidnapping Defense Lawyer

As anyone would imagine, kidnapping is a very serious offense, one that could cost an individual up to thirty years of their life. As you will see below, the crime of kidnapping can be either a second or a first degree felony offense. If you have been  charged with kidnapping in Mercer County, New Jersey there is a very good chance the prosecution will seek to have you detained without bail. Pursuant to the new bail guidelines, if the prosecution sees fit, they can petition the Judge at a Detention Hearing to force a individual charged with a serious offense to be detained pretrial in the Mercer County Jail pending trial. With that being said, a Detention Hearing can and should be contested. So, now more than ever, it is crucial to that you speak to an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorneys as soon as possible.

Anyone charged with kidnapping in New Jersey tends to also be charged with other ancillary charges like aggravated assault, trespassing, burglary, robbery, sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact and even endangering the welfare of a child. On top of the criminal charges, an individual will most like be served with a temporary restraining order (TRO) as well. Those are totally separate and apart charges which carry there own serious ramifications. For information on how to defend a TRO in New Jersey, please click the link. The criminal defense attorneys at Proetta & Oliver take a tremendous amount of pride in making sure that our clients rights are protected. If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys about the facts of your case then please contact us at 609-789-0779. Our office serves all of Mercer County, including towns like Hamilton, Lawrenceville, Ewing, East Windsor, Robbinsville, Highststown and Bordentown. For more information on kidnapping charges in New Jersey, please see below.

Kidnapping Defense Attorneys in New Jersey:

New Jersey has chose to breakdown the offense of kidnapping into two different sections. The first section of statute that deals with kidnapping is NJSA 2C:13-1. This section of the statute covers all kidnapping offenses where it is alleged the underlying purpose of the kidnapping was to collect a ransom or to hold them as a hostage. The second subsection of the statute is NJSA 2C:13-1(b) which basically deals with other motives of kidnapping. Here is breakdown of what exactly the State must prove in order to convict a Defendant of kidnapping in New Jersey.

NJSA 2C:13-1(a): First Degree Kidnapping Charges

In order to be convicted under this section of the Kidnapping Statute, the prosecution must prove the following two elements:

  • That the Defendant unlawfully removed another from a place or they unlawfully confined another in a specific place; &
  • In doing so, the Defendant had the underlying purpose to confine that person for:
    • Ransom; or
    • Reward; or
    • Hostage.

NJSA 2C:13-1(b): Second Degree Kidnapping Charges

In order to be convicted under this section of the Kidnapping Statute, the prosecution must prove the following two elements:

  • That the Defendant unlawfully removed another from their a specific place, or if they unlawfully confined another in a specific place for a substantial period:
  • In doing so, the Defendant had any of the following underlying purposes:
    • To facilitate the commission of any crime or flight thereafter;
    • To inflict bodily injury on or to terrorize the victim;
    • To interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function; or
    • To permanently deprive a parent, guardian, or other lawful custodian of custody of the victim.

How to Defend a Kidnapping Charge in NJ

The key to defending both subsections is going to be seeking to exploit whatever the alleged “unlawful removal”. Generally speaking, in order to prove unlawful, the prosecution is going to need to establish that the Defendant used some form of a threat, force or deception in order to facilitate the removal. However, if we are referring to someone that is under the age of fourteen, then all the state would have to show is the Defendant did not have the consent of either the child’s parent or guardian. This type of situation tends to occur more often then one would think, especially custody / divorce situations. Another angel that an experienced defense attorney can seek to attach is the “confinement” element of the offense.  The courts have established that the “confinement” alleged “need not be for a specific period of time so long as the confinement was unlawful”. However, it does need to be for a “substantial period” and cannot simply be for a short period of time while another offense like robbery is being committed. If you would like to speak with one of our Mercer County kidnapping defense attorneys then please contact us at (609-789-0779.

How Long Does Someone Go to Jail for a Kidnapping in NJ?

As touched upon earlier, kidnapping is a first or second degree felony offense in New Jersey. With that being said, although kidnapping can be first degree felony, the penalties are even higher then your ordinary first degree felony offenses. Similar to the offense of aggravated sexual assault, carjacking, aggravated manslaughter, anyone convicted of kidnapping in the first degree will be facing up to thirty (not 20) years in a state prison, a fine up to $200,000 and a felony criminal record. If the victim was under the age of 18 at the time and a sexual offense was committed, the Defendant must be sentenced to a term in excess of 25 years with a 25 year parole ineligibility period.

Conversely, anyone facing a second degree felony kidnapping charge will be subject to a term of incarceration ranging anywhere from five (5) to ten (10) years, a fine up to $150,000 and a felony criminal record.

Kidnapping Lawyers in Hamilton NJ

Being charged with any criminal offense is scary, however, being charged with a kidnapping charge can be terrifying. If you or a loved one has been charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault, eluding, burglary, trespassing, sexual assault or endangering the welfare of a child in Mercer County, Proetta & Oliver can help. Our team of Mercer County criminal defense lawyers are standing by to help assist in anyway that we can. If you would like to sit down with one of our attorneys and discuss the specific facts of your case, then please contact us at (609)789-0779. Our initial consultations are free of costs, so if you do have any questions, please do not hesitate to call.