DC Federal Kidnapping Lawyer
Kidnapping refers to abducting, unlawfully seizing, unlawfully confining, or carrying away a person. Illegally holding a person for reward or ransom is also considered kidnapping. The federal government has jurisdiction over kidnapping cases in limited situations. Penalties are serious for federal kidnapping crimes and a DC federal kidnapping lawyer can help you explore your options for defending yourself against a conviction for these serious charges or negotiating a plea bargain.
The DC federal kidnapping attorneys at our firm understand how intimidating it can be to face these charges, and we are here to make sure that our clients receive full protection under the law. Call today to discuss your case with a DC federal criminal defense attorney. En Español.
Federal Laws on Kidnapping
The federal crime of kidnapping is defined in 18 United States Code Section 1201. Under this law, federal authorities can take action when:
- The kidnapping occurs within the maritime or aircraft jurisdiction of the US.
- The victim is a foreign or federal official.
- A kidnapping victim is transported across state lines in interstate or foreign commerce, regardless of whether the victim is dead or alive at the time of the transport. If a person has been kidnapped and is not released within 24 hours, this creates a “rebuttable presumption” that the victim has been transported across state lines.
- The kidnapper uses the US mail to commit the kidnapping or further the commission of a kidnapping offense.
Kidnapping can result in twenty years or longer in prison. If the kidnapped victim is a child and the defendant is a stranger, twenty years is the minimum sentence. If a person dies in the kidnapping attempt, the potential penalties include not just life in prison, but also the death penalty.
Other federal laws also criminalize kidnapping offenses. For example:
- 18 U.S. Code Section 1201 imposes a penalty of up to 10 years in prison for receiving, transporting across state lines, possessing or disposing of any reward or ransom from a kidnapping.
- 18 U.S. Code Section 1204 imposes a penalty for parental kidnapping if a child is taken outside of the US to obstruct the other parent’s parental rights. Potential penalties include up to three years in prison.
Kidnapping is illegal under the laws of DC and federal laws. You do not get to determine whether you are charged with a DC or federal offense if you violated kidnapping laws.
A DC Federal Kidnapping Lawyer Can Help
Facing federal charges for kidnapping can change your life forever. You need to explore options for negotiating a plea bargain to reduce charges and penalties, or for avoiding a guilty verdict. There are a number of defenses you can raise to charges of kidnapping including:
- Someone forced you into the kidnapping.
- Mistaken identity. You were not the person who committed the kidnapping offense.
- Mistake or ignorance. You did not intentionally hold a person against their will and/or take the victim across state lines.
- Consent of the victim. The person you are accused of kidnapping came willingly.
A DC federal kidnapping lawyer can help you to determine how you should plead to the criminal charges you face, and represent your interests as you face federal charges. Contact an attorney for help, so you will have someone on your side.
Call Our Law Offices Today
The DC federal kidnapping lawyers at our law firm are here to ensure that your rights are asserted and that any reasonable doubt in the government’s case is exposed.
To learn what you and your attorney can do to begin planning an effective defense, call our DC law firm today.