The charge of Kidnapping, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1201, is extremely serious, carrying with it some of the most severe punishments available in federal courts, including mandatory life imprisonment and the death penalty. Even the charge of Attempted Kidnapping is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment (18 U.S.C. § 1201(d)); if the victim of a kidnapping is under the age of 18 and the perpetrator over that age and not a close family member or legal custodian, the crime is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison. 18 U.S.C. § 1201(g). A defendant facing the catastrophic consequences of a conviction for this crime is fighting for his life and should retain a top criminal defense attorney who has experience with this complex charge.
Not every kidnapping, however, may be prosecuted in federal court. For federal jurisdiction to attach, the defendant must have seized, confined, abducted, or carried away another person and one of the following additional conditions must be present:
The victim was transported in interstate or foreign commerce, regardless of whether he or she was alive when transported, or the defendant traveled in interstate or foreign commerce or used the mail or any means, facility, or instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce in committing or in furtherance of the commission of the kidnapping;
The victim was abducted within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States;
The victim was abducted within the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States;
The victim is a foreign official, an internationally protected person, or an official guest; or
The victim is a designated federal officer or employee.
18 U.S.C. § 1201(a). The federal Kidnapping charge, however, does not routinely apply to matters involving the abducting of a minor by a parent, except for the crime of International Parental Kidnapping. Even then, the child victim must have been under the age of 16 and the defendant must have intended to deny another's parental rights by his or her conduct. 18 U.S.C. § 1204.Call a Top Federal Criminal Attorney Today
Considering the drastic consequences of a conviction, a top federal criminal defense attorney must be retained if you or a loved one has been charged with Kidnapping. Only in this way can all defenses be explored and a positive result may follow. Attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman have successfully handled many of these federal cases for decades and have achieved the best possible outcomes for our clients. Call us today at (212) 581-1001 for a free consultation.