Kidnapping

For the crime of kidnapping, a violation of Section 207 subdivision (a) of the Penal Code, each of the following elements must be proven beyond all reasonable doubt:

  • A person was unlawfully compelled to move because of a reasonable apprehension of harm;
  • The movement of the other person was without her consent.
  • The movement of the other person in distance was substantial in character.

California law provides important defenses including:

  • one consented to accompany another freely and voluntarily and not under the influence of threats, force, or duress; or
  • the defendant did not have the general criminal intent necessary to a charge of kidnapping if the defendant entertained a reasonable and good faith belief that the person alleged to have been kidnapped voluntarily consented to accompany the defendant and to the movement involved in the purported kidnapping.

Attorney for Kidnapping Crimes in Ventura, CA

If you were arrested for kidnapping, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Jay Leiderman Law. Related crimes include false imprisonment, posing as a kidnapper, and hostage taking.

Contact Jay Leiderman to find out more about the charges pending against you, the potential penalties, and the best defenses to aggressively fight the charges.

Call (805) 654-0200.

Substantial Movement in California’s Kidnapping Statute

A movement that is only for a slight or trivial distance is not substantial in character. When determining whether a distance that is more than slight or trivial is substantial in character, the totality of the circumstances attending the movement must be considered.

Those circumstances might include the actual distance and whether the movement increased the risk of harm above that which existed prior to the movement or decreased the likelihood of detection.

The determination of whether a particular distance moved was substantial and increased the risk of harm to the alleged victim depends upon a consideration of the totality of the circumstances involved in this case.

Whether the alleged victim’s forced movement was merely incidental to the crimes is necessarily connected to whether it substantially increased the risk of harm to the alleged victim. Distance moved is simply one factor. In fact, no minimum distance is required so long as the movement is substantial.

Other factors to be considered include the scope and nature of the movement, as well as the context of its environment, including but not limited to, whether the movement decreased the likelihood of detection, increased the danger inherent in an alleged victim’s foreseeable attempts to escape, or enhanced the attacker’s opportunity to commit other crimes.

False Imprisonment as a Lesser Included Offense

The crime of felony false imprisonment is a lesser included offense of kidnapping. As a general rule, the law in California prohibits simultaneous convictions for both a greater offense and a lesser offense necessarily included within it, when based on the same conduct.

For this reason, if both the false imprisonment count and the kidnapping count are based on the same act or course of conduct, a defendant cannot be convicted of both offenses.

False imprisonment is the unlawful violation of the personal liberty of another as explained in Section 236.

Standard Bail Amounts for Kidnapping Crimes

The standard bail amount for kidnapping crimes are listed in the 2019 Bail Schedule for Ventura County, CA, as follows:

  • Section 207/208 – KIDNAPPING has a presumptive bail amount of $100,000
  • Section 209 – KIDNAPPING FOR RANSOM OR EXTORTION has a presumptive bail amount of $250,000
  • Section 210 – KIDNAPPING DURING A CARJACKING has a presumptive bail amount of $250,000
  • Section 209.5 – POSE AS KIDNAPPER has a presumptive bail amount of $50,000
  • Section 210.5 – HOSTAGE TAKING has a presumptive bail amount of $100,000.

Depending on the circumstance, the court can either increase or decrease the bond amount during the first appearance hearing.

This article was last updated on Friday, July 19, 2019.