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Kidnapping in Arizona (A.R.S §13-1304)

Kidnapping in Arizona (A.R.S §13-1304)

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In Arizona, per A.R.S §13-1304 “Kidnapping” occurs when a person knowingly restrains another person with the intent to accomplish certain goals including ransom; shield or hostage; slavery; or to inflict a sexual offense, death, or physical injury to them. Most commonly physical restraint in kidnapping occurs to aid the defendant during the course of the commission of a felony (to keep a person from calling the police).

Watch this short video where David explains Kidnapping in Arizona:

Kidnapping can also occur if the defendant’s intent is to place a person in reasonable apprehension of physical injury to a third person. On rare occasions, you will see kidnapping charged when a defendant interferes with a performance of a governmental or political function, or when a person seizes control over an airplane, train, bus, ship, or other vehicle.

Contact David Michael Cantor if you have been charged with Kidnapping. Our offices are available 24 hours a day call us at 602-307-0808 or click here for our confidential contact form for a Free Consultation.


Possible Punishment for Kidnapping Charges

The punishments for Kidnapping can significantly vary based on the crime, if weapons were involved and if the person charged has any prior conviction. Read below to see the different types of penalties and possible sentences.

  • If the alleged victim is under fifteen (15) years of age, then the first offense range of punishment is ten (10) years minimum in prison, seventeen (17) years presumptive in prison, and twenty-four (24) years maximum in prison.
  • If the defendant has one historical allegeable prior Dangerous Crime Against Children (DCAC), then the range changes to a minimum of twenty-one (21) years, a presumptive twenty-eight (28) years, and a maximum thirty-five (35) years in prison.
  • Two or more historical allegeable prior Dangerous Crimes Against Children is mandatory life in prison.

The sentence for Kidnapping must run consecutively to any other prison time imposed; this means the defendant cannot be serving time on the kidnapping charge and another charge at the same time, it must be an additional prison term. Additionally, this is “day-for-day prison time” (i.e., no early release or time off for good behavior).

Ordinarily, kidnapping is a class two (2) felony which carries different ranges of punishment depending on whether or not there is an injury, and whether or not there is a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument involved.

  • If the kidnapping involved a deadly weapon (such as a gun, knife, club, or a simulated gun) then the range of punishment for a first offense is a minimum of seven (7) years in prison, a presumptive of ten and one half (10.5) years in prison, and a maximum of twenty-one (21) years in prison.
  • If the person has one (1) allegeable historical prior conviction, then the “prison only” range is a minimum fourteen (14) years, a presumptive of fifteen and three quarters (15.75), and a maximum of twenty-eight (28) years in prison.
  • If the person has two (2) allegeable historical prior convictions, then the “prison only” range is twenty-one (21) years minimum, presumptive of twenty-eight (28) years, and a maximum of thirty-five (35) years of incarceration.

If there was no deadly weapon involved, then the Kidnapping charge can be a non-dangerous class two (2) felony and carry the follow punishments:

  • First offense can be probation with zero (0) days in jail up to one (1) year in jail, or prison of three (3) years to twelve and one half (12.5) years of incarceration.
  • If the person has one (1) allegeable historical prior conviction, then the “prison only” range is four and one half (4.5) years to twenty-three and one quarter (23.25) years in prison.
  • If the person has two (2) allegeable historical prior convictions, then the “prison only” range is ten and one half (10.5) to thirty-five (35) years of incarceration.

Punishments if the Alleged Kidnapping Did Not Involve Injury

If the alleged victim is released without physical injury in a safe place prior to arrest, and prior to accomplishing any of the above goals, then this can be charged as a class four (4) felony. The possible punishment varies depending on whether a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon was involved.

  • If a deadly weapon was involved, then the minimum would be four (4) years in prison, the presumptive is six (6) years in prison, and the maximum is eight (8) years in prison.
  • If the person has one (1) allegeable historical prior dangerous conviction, then the minimum is eight (8) years, the presumptive is ten (10) and the maximum is twelve (12) years incarceration.
  • If the person has two (2) allegeable historical prior convictions, the minimum is twelve (12) years, presumptive is fourteen (14), and maximum is sixteen (16) years incarceration.

If a deadly weapon was not involved then the punishment for a first offense can be probation with zero (0) days in jail up to one (1) year in jail, or prison of one (1) year to three and three quarters (3.75) years of incarceration.

  • If the person has one (1) allegeable historical prior conviction, then the “prison only” range is two and one quarter (2.25) to seven and one half (7.5) years of incarceration.
  • If the person has two (2) allegeable historical prior convictions, then the “prison only” range is six (6) to fifteen (15) years of incarceration.

If the alleged victim was released pursuant to an agreement with the State and without any physical injury, but after one or more of the above goals was accomplished, then it can be charged as a class three (3) felony.

  • If a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument was involved, then the first offense range of punishment would be five (5) years minimum in prison, seven and one half (7.5) years presumptive in prison; and fifteen (15) years maximum in prison.
  • If a person has one (1) allegeable historical prior dangerous felony conviction, then the range increases to ten (10) years minimum, eleven and one quarter (11.25) years presumptive, and twenty (20) years maximum of incarceration.
  • If the person has two (2) allegeable historical prior dangerous felony convictions, then the “prison only” mandatory minimum punishment is fifteen (15) years, the presumptive is twenty (20) years, and the maximum is twenty-five (25) years of incarceration.

If a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument was not involved, then the first offense range would be anywhere from probation with zero (0) days in jail up to one (1) year in jail, or prison of two (2) years minimum to eight and three quarters (8.75) years maximum of incarceration.

  • If the person has one (1) allegeable historical prior conviction, then the “prison only” range is three and one half (3.5) years to sixteen and one quarter (16.25) years of incarceration.
  • If the person has two (2) allegeable historical prior convictions, then the “prison only” range is seven and one half (7.5) years to twenty-five (25) years of incarceration.

Possible Defenses for Kidnapping

Kidnapping is probably over-charged by Arizona prosecutors more than any other serious felony in Arizona. As such, it is important to have a very skilled defense attorney to combat these usually false allegations. The most often seen defenses to a Kidnapping charge will be based on the defendant’s lack of intent to achieve one of the statutory listed goals ( i.e. slavery, ransom, a sexual offense, etc.). Simply physically restraining another person is not enough to be convicted of Kidnapping; the prosecutor must prove that the defendant restrained the “victim” with the intent to achieve one of those goals. The most typical situation where Kidnapping is charged is during domestic disputes where a child is taken by one parent in a vehicle, or not returned to the other parent according to a visitation schedule.

The other parent then calls the police and the prosecutor files Kidnapping charges. The defendant here should not be convicted of kidnapping because he did not take the child with the intent to commit any of those goals; his only intention was to keep his child away from the other parent for some reason. It will be important to the defense to interview as many friends and family members as possible to demonstrate the on-going relationship between the parties and the character of each person, and to establish the visitation and parental rights of each parent. It is very important to prevent the prosecutor from turning a simple Domestic Violence situation (i.e., a misdemeanor) into the very serious felony of Kidnapping.

Additionally, because our law firm fights conviction from all angles, we would assert a wide range of defenses and challenges to constitutional violations that apply in all criminal cases. The possibilities are numerous and diverse. One of those we frequently assert is a “Miranda rights violation.” In Arizona, the standard of whether any incriminating statement (i.e., a statement which tends to admit guilt) is admissible into evidence is based upon a “voluntariness” standard. If we can demonstrate that the police coerced you (i.e., intimidated or tricked you) into making a confession or inculpatory statement, or that they did not properly read you your Miranda Rights, then we can suppress those statements and any evidence gathered as a direct result of those statements.

In addition, the “Denial of Right to Counsel” is another common defense which is often raised. This occurs when a suspect is in custody and requests to speak to their attorney, but is denied and questioning continues. Other defenses may include challenging the validity of any search warrant, or whether there were any “forensic flaws” during the investigation of your case, depending on what else you may have been charged with. This could include exposing flawed procedures regarding blood, breath, and urine testing; fingerprints analysis; DNA testing; ballistics; gunshot residue testing; computer analysis/cloning hard drive procedures; forensic financial accounting reviews; etc.. Lastly, one of the most common defense tactics is exposing sloppy or misleading police reports which include everything from misstatements, false statements, flawed photo line-ups and other identification procedures, and inaccurate crime scene reconstruction. It is important to hire a skilled Kidnapping lawyer to defend you who has knowledge of all the possible defenses to assert in your case.

For a Free Initial Consultation, Call Us at 602-307-0808, contact DM Cantor and speak to a Arizona Kidnapping Lawyer. We will assist you with your Kidnapping case.

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