Kidnapping is an extremely serious crime that is committed for various reasons. For example, some kidnappers commit the crime in conjunction with other illegal activities such as extortion, trafficking, or sexual assault. In the state of New Jersey, kidnapping is described as unlawfully removing another person from a place of residence, business, or a substantial distance from the location where they were found; or holding a person for ransom, reward, or as a shield or hostage. To learn more, or if you were charged, our skilled Bergen County criminal defense attorney is on your side.
What is the consequence of confining individuals for unlawful purposes?
New Jersey law prohibits confining another individual for any of the following causes:
- To facilitate the commission of any crime or flight after;
- To inflict bodily injury on or to terrorize the victim or another;
- To interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function; or
- To permanently deprive a parent, guardian, or another lawful custodian of custody of the victim.
What are the different degrees of kidnapping?
Kidnapping in New Jersey is a crime in the first degree unless the actor dismisses the unharmed victim to a safe place prior to being arrested; in that circumstance, the offense is a second-degree crime.
- First Degree Kidnapping: This offense is punishable by imprisonment of 15 to 30 years. If the victim is less than 16 years old or where there are aggravating factors (such as sexual assault or selling or delivering the victim for financial gain), the penalty is a prison term of 25 years to life, with or without the possibility of parole after 25 years.
- Second Degree Kidnapping: This offense is punishable by 5-10 years in prison.
You will want to keep in mind that if a murder happens during the kidnapping, the defendant can be charged with first-degree murder under the felony-murder rule.
What are the potential defenses against kidnapping in New Jersey?
There are a number of different defenses that a skilled New Jersey criminal defense attorney can use against a kidnapping charge. Some of the most common include the following:
- Mistake of fact
Additionally, an affirmative defense can be used if the actor reasonably believed that the action was necessary to prevent immediate danger to the victim’s welfare, then this defense may be available if the actor gives reasonable notice to the authorities.
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