The offense of kidnapping in Colorado is a very serious charge. If you are facing kidnapping charges, it is critical that you understand the charges against you and seek the advice of an attorney who has experience in defending these serious cases. The Law Firm of Black & Graham in Colorado Springs has experienced attorneys who can help if you are charged with these, or any other crimes.
Kidnapping is divided into two degrees: First Degree Kidnapping and Second Degree Kidnapping
First Degree Kidnapping is the most serious kidnapping charge under Colorado law. This is the crime most people think of when they hear the word “Kidnap”. To be found guilty of first degree kidnapping, a person must seize another person by force and carry them from one place to another; or entice or persuade them to go from one place to another; or imprison them. These acts must have been done with the intent to force the victim or any other person to give up something of value, or make a concession in order to free the person being held. The thing of value could be anything such as money, a car, or any type of property. Concessions could be any agreement to do something-or not do something. A concession for the purposes of kidnapping can even be a promise to do something in the future.
First Degree Kidnapping is a class 1 felony if the person kidnapped was injured. If the kidnapped person is released unharmed, it is a class 2 felony. These are serious crimes, often with mandatory jail and lasting negative repercussions to your life, possibly impacting your job, housing opportunities, child custody and ability to qualify for public assistance.
Second Degree Kidnapping is similar to First Degree Kidnapping, but it doesn’t require forcing someone to concede or give up something of value in order to release the person being held against their will. To be found guilty of this crime, a person must knowingly seize and move a person from one place to another against that person’s will. The distance the person must be moved to warrant a kidnapping charge is very small. It could be as little as moving a person from outside a car to inside a car.
Second Degree Kidnapping includes kidnapping of a child. Anyone who takes or lures a child from their parent or guardian with the intent to keep or conceal the child is guilty of Second Degree Kidnapping. The same is true if the person intended to sell or trade the child.
Second Degree Kidnapping is a class 2 felony if the person kidnapped is a victim of a sexual offense or a robbery. It is a class 3 felony if there is no sexual offense or robbery, but the kidnapping is perpetrated intending to sell, trade, or barter the victim. Kidnapping by the use of a deadly weapon is also a Class 3 Felony.
If none of the conditions above are present, Second Degree Kidnapping is a class 4 felony.
False Imprisonment is a less serious offense than Second Degree Kidnapping under Colorado law. False Imprisonment does not have the requirement that the victim be carried from one place to another. It simply requires that someone hold another without that person’s consent, and without proper legal authority. This could include not allowing a person to leave a room or a vehicle.
False Imprisonment is a class 2 misdemeanor, unless the person uses force or the threat of force to hold the other person for twelve hours or longer. In that case, it is a class 5 felony. Although it is the least serious of these kidnap related offenses, it is still a serious charge that can result in jail time, serious fines and a record for life.
Protect yourself from the possible consequences of a conviction for kidnapping or false imprisonment. Any of the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Black & Graham will defend you and ensure that your rights under the law are protected. They will identify any potential defenses and mitigation you may have and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.