The state of New York looks at kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment as very serious crimes. Even custodial interference, in some cases, falls under kidnapping. If you have been accused of any of these crimes, whether you may be guilty or innocent, it’s in your best interest to start talking to a Brooklyn kidnapping lawyer who understands the laws and can fight for justice on your behalf.
Kidnapping, Unlawful Imprisonment and Labor Trafficking in NY
Kidnapping refers to children and adults. For the most part, kidnapping is considered a felony in New York. It’s divided into grades of severity; the state could charge you with kidnapping in the first degree or kidnapping in the second degree.
First-degree kidnapping involves abducting someone (taking them against their will) with the intent to get someone to pay a ransom, do something specific, or avoid doing something specific. In order for a jury to convict you of kidnapping in the first degree, you must have restrained the victim for more than 12 hours with the intent to do one of the following:
Inflict physical injury on the victim
Sexually abuse the victim
Accomplish or advance the commission of a felony
Terrorize the victim or a third party
Interfere with the performance of a governmental or political function
If the victim dies during the abduction or before he or she is returned to safety, you could be convicted of first-degree kidnapping.
First-degree kidnapping is a Class A-I felony, which is punishable by at least 15 years in prison and up to a life sentence.
Second-degree kidnapping simply refers to the abduction of another person. It is a Class B felony, which could put you in prison for 25 years or more.
Unlawful imprisonment is holding someone against his or her will, and that’s also classified by first- and second-degree designations.
First-degree unlawful imprisonment refers to restraining another person under circumstances that expose the victim to a risk of serious physical injury. Unlawful imprisonment in the first degree is a Class E felony in the state of New York, which carries a minimum prison sentence of one year.
Second-degree unlawful imprisonment occurs when a defendant unlawfully restrains another person. Unlike the other charges here, unlawful imprisonment in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor. This type of conviction can also carry jail time as a penalty.
Labor trafficking occurs when a defendant compels or induces another person to engage in labor by means of:
Illegally providing a controlled substance to the victim in order to impair his or her judgment
Requiring that labor be performed to repay a real or purported debt
Withholding, destroying or confiscating a real or purported passport, immigration document or other form of government ID to impair the victim’s freedom of movement
Using force or participating in a plan that would compel the victim to perform labor out of fear, including when the defendant causes physical injury or property damage, or performs other unlawful acts
Labor trafficking is a Class D felony in New York, and it is punishable by at least 1 year in prison.
Parental kidnapping also falls under these laws, and the punishments are the same. You could be charged with parental kidnapping if you remove your child from the state without the other parent’s consent.
What to Do if You’re Accused of Kidnapping
If someone accuses you of kidnapping, the best thing you could do for yourself is to get in touch with an attorney. No matter what the circumstances were leading to the alleged kidnapping, it’s in your best interest to talk to someone who understands New York’s strict kidnapping laws and who is willing to fight on your behalf.
Do not talk to police or investigators if you are arrested. That could be the biggest mistake in your case, because when investigators tell you that anything you say can and will be used against you, they mean it. You have the right to have an attorney present for any questioning that law enforcement officials want to put you through, so use it – it could make a huge difference in the outcome of your case.
Because kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment and labor trafficking carry such serious penalties, you need to have someone who is experienced in these matters defending you and preserving your rights. This isn’t worth taking a chance on defending yourself or waiting for a public defender to squeeze you into an already-too-heavy caseload.
Call me or text me at the first hint of trouble. Use my cell phone. The number is 917-856-1247. You can also contact me online if it’s easier. I’ll give you my full attention and start strategizing as soon as you tell me the details of your case.