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Phoenix Kidnapping Attorney

Have you been charged with kidnapping in Phoenix, AZ? Kidnapping or abduction is considered one of the most serious criminal offenses in Arizona. You are facing a felony charge and a prison sentence of 18 months to life; don’t leave your defense to chance.

You deserve an aggressive Phoenix kidnapping attorney prepared to fight for you. Orent Law Offices, PLC has defended Phoenix residents against criminal charges for more than 33 years. Contact our law firm at (480) 656-7301 to schedule a free case review so we can begin working on your legal defense.

How Orent Law Offices, PLC Can Help After You Are Arrested for Kidnapping in Phoenix

If you are facing kidnapping charges, you may feel frightened and hopeless. Abduction is a very serious felony in Arizona, even when it involves a parent taking their child. This charge can carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years or even life in prison. You need an elite Phoenix criminal defense attorney to help you fight the charges.

Orent Law Offices, PLC was founded by Craig Orent, a Certified Criminal Law Specialist. Craig is a Top 100 Trial Lawyer and has over three decades of experience defending clients against serious criminal charges. 

When you choose our law firm to represent you in your kidnapping case, you can trust us to:

  • Give you guidance and legal advice you can count on
  • Build a multi-faceted legal defense using evidence suppression, exculpatory evidence, evidentiary challenges, and more
  • Protect your constitutional rights
  • Investigate whether your rights were violated or you were the victim of police misconduct
  • Negotiate with the prosecutor for reduced charges, a dismissal of your case, or a satisfactory plea deal
  • Present a persuasive argument in court to seek a not-guilty verdict or an acquittal

Don’t face serious felony charges alone; don’t rely on an overworked public defender to protect your freedom. Call Orent Law Offices, PLC today to schedule a free case review with a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer ready to help.

Overview of Kidnapping in Arizona

A.R.S §13-1304 defines kidnapping as someone knowingly restraining another person with the intention of:

  • Committing a felony, such as inflicting a sexual offense, physical injury, or death on the victim,
  • Aiding in the commission of a felony (including those above),
  • Holding the victim for involuntary servitude,
  • Holding the victim as hostage, for ransom, or as a shield,
  • Placing the victim or someone else in fear of imminent harm,
  • Seizing or taking control of a vehicle, or
  • Interfering with the performance of a political or government function. 

Kidnapping can be a Class 4, Class 3, or Class 2 felony, depending on the circumstances. 

Kidnapping crimes are broken down as follows:

  • It is a Class 4 felony to commit kidnapping when the offender releases the victim unharmed in a safe place before arrest or commission of another crime.
  • It is a Class 3 felony if the victim is released uninjured after reaching an agreement with law enforcement.
  • It is a Class 2 felony if the offender does not release the victim uninjured before arrest or another crime is committed. It can automatically become a Class 2 felony if the victim is 15 or younger. 

This Arizona statute is designed to protect the victim by making it a lesser offense when the offender releases the victim without injury. An injury to the victim, additional crimes, or refusing to release the victim until arrested all increase the severity of the offense.

Kidnapping can become a federal offense under 18 U.S.C. § 1201 under certain circumstances. You may face federal kidnapping charges if you transport the victim across state lines or use the mail, banking system, or the internet during the commission of the crime. However, this federal statute does not apply to parental kidnapping of a child.

Examples of Kidnapping Charges

Kidnapping charges can arise from many different scenarios, such as:

  • Burglary when the home is occupied
  • Sexual assault
  • Attempting to intimidate someone
  • Preventing someone from calling 911 or police
  • A domestic dispute or confrontation with a partner or ex
  • Child custody disputes 

Many kidnapping cases involve parties who know each other or are related. One of the most common scenarios involves a non-custodial parent. A parent may intentionally or unintentionally commit kidnapping by taking their child without permission.

This is referred to as parental kidnapping. Sometimes even a custodial parent can face kidnapping charges for refusing to allow the non-custodial parent visitation.

At Orent Law Offices, PLC, we recognize that kidnapping, while a very serious offense, is often committed when someone doesn’t fully realize the consequences of their actions.

What Are the Penalties for Kidnapping in Phoenix, Arizona?

Kidnapping charges in Phoenix are always felonies and always carry a potential prison sentence. However, the penalties depend on the circumstances and the class of felony.

You may face the following prison terms for kidnapping:

  • A Class 4 felony is punishable by 18 months to three years in prison
  • A Class 3 felony is punishable by two and a half years to seven years in prison
  • A Class 2 felony is punishable by four to ten years in prison
  • A Class 2 felony in which the victim was 15 or younger is punishable by life in prison 

When someone is convicted of a felony in Arizona, they are usually given a presumptive sentence. This is a predetermined prison term based on the charge. This presumptive sentence can be increased or decreased based on the circumstances.

Kidnapping has the following presumptive sentences:

  • 2.5 year presumptive sentence for a Class 4 felony
  • 3.5 year presumptive sentence for a Class 3 felony
  • 5 year presumptive sentence for a Class 2 felony 

If there are mitigating factors, such as the defendant’s degree of participation in the crime or mental capacity, the sentence can be reduced. For instance, the mitigated sentence for a Class 4 felony is one year. Aggravating factors can enhance the sentence. 

The use of a deadly weapon during the commission of the crime is a common aggravating factor. For a Class 4 felony, an aggravated sentence may be 3.75 years.

What Defenses Are Available if I’m Charged with Kidnapping in Phoenix, AZ?

There are many possible defenses available in kidnapping cases in Phoenix, including statutory defenses for kidnapping charges related to a child custody dispute. You may have a defense if the victim was a relative, they were not physically injured, and your primary intent was to establish lawful custody.

Parental kidnapping charges may also be reduced to custodial interference, a lesser offense that is generally a Class 1 misdemeanor. Custodial interference refers to disrupting the other parent’s custody rights. Conversely, parental kidnapping refers to taking the child somewhere in violation of a custody order, withholding the child from the custodian, or refusing to return the child.

Two additional common defense options include:

  • Consent. You may have a valid defense if you believed the victim consented or the victim actually consented. Sometimes kidnapping charges result from false allegations of abduction.
  • Lack of intent. The prosecution must prove that you had the necessary intent to commit the crime of kidnapping. If you did not intend to hold the victim hostage or harm them, you may have a defense. 

Sometimes a kidnapping charge can be reduced to a lesser offense of unlawful imprisonment. This is a Class 1 misdemeanor offense for knowingly restraining another person.

In addition to these legal defenses, your criminal defense attorney will evaluate whether your constitutional rights were violated or there was police misconduct. If your rights were violated, we can move to suppress tainted evidence. This can weaken the state’s case against you.

Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Phoenix Kidnapping Attorney

Kidnapping is one of the most serious offenses in Arizona. However, it is often the result of a misunderstanding, a dispute that went too far, or failing to recognize one’s actions as a crime. At Orent Law Offices, PLC, we are committed to giving you the tireless legal representation you deserve.

Contact our law office today for a free consultation with a Phoenix kidnapping attorney. We will protect your constitutional rights and help you build the strongest defense possible.

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Orent Law Offices Phoenix Criminal Defense Law Firm