Arlington Kidnapping Lawyer
Kidnapping is considered a serious offense in Arlington and can have consequence ranging from fines to lengthy prison sentences. Virginia kidnapping law covers behaviors ranging from serious human trafficking-related offenses to simple custody interference cases. Kidnapping does not have to consist of a dramatic abduction. In certain cases, a parent leaving the state with their own child can lead to a legal violation.
If you are charged with kidnapping or any related offense, do not hesitate to contact an Arlington kidnapping lawyer. Knowing your rights and options is the best place to begin. Call a qualified criminal defense attorney today to schedule a consultation.
Kidnapping is defined by § 18.2-47 of the Code of Virginia as seizing, taking, transporting, or detaining a person by force, intimidation, or deception without legal justification. The law in Arlington also refers to the crime of abduction. These words are used synonymously throughout Virginia code. A conviction for abduction carries the exact same penalty as kidnapping.
For the purposes of Virginia kidnapping law, the term “intimidation” includes destroying, concealing, or withholding a person’s passport or other documents. It also includes threatening to report them as illegally being in the United States, even if it is true.
Kidnapping is a Class 5 felony and is punishable by a mandatory 1 year of confinement and up to 10 years in a state prison.
Kidnapping by a Parent
If the person allegedly kidnapped is the defendant’s child and the offense is punishable as contempt of court, the crime will be treated as Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to a full year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. This applies to situations where child custody arrangements are set forth by a family court judge, and a violation of that arrangement would be grounds for a family court to hold the parent in contempt of court.
If in such a violation of a court order a parent removes the child from the state of Virginia, however, the abduction will be treated as a Class 6 felony. If the child resides outside of the State of Virginia, and the defendant violates a court order by intentionally interfering with the other parent’s custody or visitation rights by withholding the child, it will likewise be treated as Class 6 felony. A Class 6 felony carries a minimum of one year in jail and a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison.
Less severe interferences with another parent’s visitation or custody rights by a parent will be treated as a Class 3 misdemeanor for the first conviction. A Class 3 misdemeanor is punishable by a $500 fine. A second conviction for violating such a court order is considered a Class 2 misdemeanor if it occurs within a year of the prior conviction. A Class 2 misdemeanor carries a potential 6-month jail term and a fine of up to $1000.
A third violation within a two year period is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is punishable by a year in jail and a fine of $2,500. Because the penalties for abduction can be severe, anyone accused of this crime should talk to an Arlington child abduction defense lawyer for assistance. Prosecutors take kidnapping seriously, and individuals who appear in court without an attorney are at a serious disadvantage.
Talk to an Arlington Kidnapping Attorney
Given the potential repercussions of a kidnapping conviction, it is wise to consult an attorney if you find yourself facing such a charge. If you are a parent charged with kidnapping, an attorney could help ensure that the charge has the least severe repercussions possible in terms of one’s future custody and visitation rights. Schedule a consultation with an Arlington kidnapping lawyer to learn more.