Camden County NJ Kidnapping Lawyer
Criminal Defense Attorney in Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Kidnapping charges can arise from a number of situations that are many times different from what people generally think. A common situation that can result in a kidnapping charge is when a parent takes their child when he or she does not have full legal custody. Regardless of the background, a kidnapping conviction can result in harsh penalties including an extremely long prison sentence that will have a substantial effect on your life. If you have been charged with kidnapping, you will need a knowledgeable and experienced attorney to help defend you in your case.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Leonard Biddison have had tremendous success handling threat and assault related offenses for years in Camden County including Cherry Hill, Gloucester, and Winslow Twp. In fact, one of the members of our criminal defense team is a former county prosecutor in New Jersey who used to prosecute assault and threat related charges for the State. If you have been charges with kidnapping, having an attorney who knows what it takes to potentially beat the charges against you is imperative. Call the Law Offices of Leonard Biddison at 866-721-9510 anytime for a free initial consultation.
Kidnapping Lawyer in Gloucester NJ
Kidnapping law in New Jersey is covered under N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1 which provides:
a. A person is guilty of kidnapping if he unlawfully removes another from the place where he is found or if he unlawfully confines another with the purpose of holding that person for ransom or reward or as a shield or hostage.
b. A person is guilty of kidnapping if he unlawfully removes another from his place of residence or business, or a substantial distance from the vicinity where he is found, or if he unlawfully confines another for a substantial period, with any of the following purposes:
(1) To facilitate commission of any crime or flight thereafter;
(2) To inflict bodily injury on or to terrorize the victim or another;
(3) To interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function; or
(4) To permanently deprive a parent, guardian, or other lawful custodian of custody of the victim.
Kidnapping Degrees and Penalties in New Jersey
Kidnapping in New Jersey can be either a first or second degree crime depending on the circumstances.
First Degree: Kidnapping is usually a first degree crime and is punishable by 15 to 30 years in New Jersey State Prison. However, a term of 25 years to life can be imposed if the victim of the kidnapping is less than 16 years of age and if one of the following conditions are met:
- A crime under N.J.S.2C:14-2 or subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:14-3 is committed against the victim;
- A crime under subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:24-4 is committed against the victim; or
- The actor sells or delivers the victim to another person for pecuniary gain other than in circumstances which lead to the return of the victim to a parent, guardian or other person responsible for the general supervision of the victim.
Second Degree: Kidnapping in the second degree is punishable by 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison. A kidnapping charge can be downgraded to second degree if the following conditions are met:
- That the defendant released the victim unharmed
- That the victim was be released in a safe place
- The release of the victim occurred prior to their apprehension.
Note: Second degree kidnapping is included under New Jersey’s “No Early Release Act” which means that 85 percent of the sentence must be served before parole eligibility.
Defenses for Kidnapping in New Jersey
e. It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under paragraph (4) of subsection b. of this section, which must be proved by clear and convincing evidence, that:
(1) The actor reasonably believed that the action was necessary to preserve the victim from imminent danger to his welfare. However, no defense shall be available pursuant to this subsection if the actor does not, as soon as reasonably practicable but in no event more than 24 hours after taking a victim under his protection, give notice of the victim’s location to the police department of the municipality where the victim resided, the office of the county prosecutor in the county where the victim resided, or the Division of Child Protection and Permanency in the Department of Children and Families;
(2) The actor reasonably believed that the taking or detaining of the victim was consented to by a parent, or by an authorized State agency; or
(3) The victim, being at the time of the taking or concealment not less than 14 years old, was taken away at his own volition by his parent and without purpose to commit a criminal offense with or against the victim.
f. It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under paragraph (4) of subsection b. of this section that a parent having the right of custody reasonably believed he was fleeing from imminent physical danger from the other parent, provided that the parent having custody, as soon as reasonably practicable:
(1) Gives notice of the victim’s location to the police department of the municipality where the victim resided, the office of the county prosecutor in the county where the victim resided, or the Division of Child Protection and Permanency in the Department of Children and Families; or
(2) Commences an action affecting custody in an appropriate court.
Contact a Winslow Twp. NJ Kidnapping Lawyer for a Free Consultation
The criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Leonard Biddison are always available to speak with you about your case and begin to formulate an aggressive strategy to defend you against a kidnapping charge. Our criminal defense team understands the details of the law in New Jersey and we will use this knowledge to help you best defend against these charges. Call us today at 866-721-9510 for a free initial consultation about your case.