Kidnap and false imprisonment - The law
Kidnap is an offence which involves an individual taking or carrying away another person either by force or by fraud, where the victim does not consent to being taken and there is no lawful excuse for taking them.
False imprisonment is an offence which involves the unlawful and intentional or reckless detention of a victim. Therefore, it is often the case that an individual will be charged with both offences should it be alleged that a kidnapper has taken and subsequently detained a victim without their consent.
These offences may be able to be challenged if you deny that any offence took place, the victim (or their parent if the offence involves a child) consented to going/staying with you or that there was a legitimate reason for the taking. It is important that the circumstances of the alleged offence are fully assessed to determine if any of those defences will be applicable.
Sentence for kidnap and false imprisonment
Both offences of kidnap and false imprisonment are extremely serious. This is reflected in the sentencing guidelines which allow a judge to impose a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. As such, if you are found guilty of this offence you will be at risk of a considerable prison sentence. Factors such as the degree of planning involved, the use of violence, the vulnerability of the victim and whether a weapon was used will be considered by a sentencing judge.
How Stephensons can help
If you have been charged with an offence of kidnap and/or false imprisonment, your case will be handed by one of the partners or senior associate solicitors in our specialist criminal defence team. Our team is recommended in tier one of the Legal 500 and will provide you with clear advice and expert representation throughout the course of the proceedings.
If you require immediate representation we have expert police station representatives available 24 hours a day all year round. If you require emergency assistance outside of normal working hours, please call 07836 574 607.
Otherwise, please contact us on 01616 966 229 or complete an online enquiry form and a member of the team will contact you as soon as possible.