Kidnapping charges can be elevated to a federal crime, which could allow a federal court to levy extremely hefty fines and lengthy prison sentences to the convicted individual. If you have been accused or charged with kidnapping, it is imperative that you seek a skilled defense attorney for assistance. An experienced South Carolina kidnapping lawyer could defend your rights and fight to mitigate potentially devastating consequences on your behalf.
Under South Carolina Code §16-3-910, kidnapping is defined as the act of abducting an adult or minor against their will and transporting them to another location. The motive for the kidnapping is typically considered when determining the charges and punishments that will be imposed. For example, if a person kidnaps someone while committing another crime, they could face harsher penalties than someone charged with kidnapping in connection with a custody dispute.
Additionally, kidnapping offenses can elevate from a state to federal crime in various circumstances, resulting in even harsher punishments. Under 18 U.S. Code §1201, federal jurisdiction applies in scenarios involving:
According to S.C. Code §16-3-920, if two people form an arrangement, confederation, or conspiracy to kidnap, and either of them commits an explicit act to carry out the agreement, they are considered guilty of a crime. If convicted, they will be punished as if they committed the crime.
Additionally, conspiracy to kidnap can also be elevated to a federal crime under similar conditions. Under 18 USC 1201(c), if two or more people conspire to kidnap a person and initiate an “overt act” to fulfill the kidnapping objective, they are then considered guilty of the federal crime of kidnapping.
A season lawyer in South Carolina can provide counsel on kidnapping and conspiracy charges and offer strategic legal defense against the prosecution’s case.
Human trafficking has also become a nationally recognized issue in recent years. When a person kidnaps someone knowing they will be subjected to forced labor, or if they conspire or aid in that person’s forced labor, they could be charged with both human trafficking and kidnapping.
An abduction lawyer could explain that South Carolina categorizes felony offenses into six classes from Class A through Class F. Class A felonies are the most severe felonies, while Class F offenses are the least serious.
Kidnapping is considered a Class A felony, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. Additionally, charges such as human trafficking have a maximum prison term of 15 years.
Kidnapping is a severe crime on both state and federal levels. If you were accused of abduction, you may be facing severe criminal sentences and increased difficulty in your personal and professional life. Merely being investigated or charged with kidnapping may result in social stigma that could follow you for the rest of your life.
Do not take these charges lightly. Instead, speak to a local attorney with your best interests in mind. Contact the firm to speak with a dedicated South Carolina kidnapping lawyer to defend your case today.