Kidnapping is an incredibly serious criminal offense that carries severe penalties under Massachusetts law. If you are facing kidnapping charges in Massachusetts, you need a skilled MA criminal defense lawyer on your side. At The Law Office of Paul R. Moraski, our criminal defense attorney can help you to understand the charges you’re facing and how to develop the best case strategy. In the meantime, here’s an overview of what you need to know about kidnapping charges in MA–
What Is Kidnapping?
Found under Section 26 in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265, a person commits an act of kidnapping when they forcibly or secretly confine or imprison another person against their will and without legal authority. Forcibly seizing, confining, or taking with intent to secretly confine or imprison another person against their will is also against the law. Under this definition, then, kidnapping does not only refer to the abduction of children, but also the confinement of any person against their will.
Penalties for Kidnapping
Kidnapping is a serious offense. Under the same section of code cited above, kidnapping can be punished by a state prison sentence of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $1,000, as well as imprisonment in jail for up to two years.
If the offense of kidnapping is committed with the use of a firearm, the crime is more serious and the penalties are more severe. Committing a crime of kidnapping with the use of a firearm is punishable by a term of not less than 10 years in the state prison and or in the house of correction for up to 2.5 years. If the crime of kidnapping also results in serious bodily injury upon another or sexual assault against the victim of the crime, a prison sentence of at least 25 years is the penalty.
There are also specific penalties for kidnapping offenses involving children. If a person kidnaps a child under 16 years of age, a prison sentence of up to 15 years is possible.
Defending Yourself Against Kidnapping Charges
If you are facing kidnapping charges in Massachusetts, hiring an attorney is the first thing that you can do. Your attorney will help you to understand the charges against you and the specifics of the potential penalties you face. Your attorney will also review the evidence against you and make a recommendation as to whether you should defend yourself against charges or attempt to enter a plea bargain with the prosecution. Some potential defenses to kidnapping charges include:
- The child in question was your own child;
- The victim gave consent; or
- Lack of intent.
In some cases, it may be possible to claim that mental illness/insanity contributed to the offense.
Call The Law Office of Paul R. Moraski Today
When you are facing charges for criminal kidnapping, you may be looking at time behind bars, large fines, and a black mark on your criminal record if you are convicted. To improve your chances of a favorable criminal case outcome, work with a qualified criminal defense attorney. Call The Law Office of Paul R. Moraski today at (978) 397-0011 or send our law firm a message online at your convenience.