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Kidnapping, false imprisonment & blackmail

Kidnapping, false imprisonment and blackmail are all extremely serious offences. Kidnapping is the criminal offence consisting of unlawfully taking someone away, by force or fraud, without their consent and without lawful excuse. False imprisonment differs from kidnap, as it relates to the unlawful detention of a person, and therefore not requiring the taking of the person away. Blackmail involves the making of unwarranted demands with menaces in order to attain personal gain or project loss onto another. 

At Stephensons, our solicitors understand the devastating impact these allegations can have on yourself, your family, your career and your future. Our expert criminal defence solicitors have specialist knowledge and extensive experience of dealing with matters involving alleged kidnap, blackmail and false imprisonment throughout England and Wales.  

Our specialists solicitors are available to provide non-judgemental assistance and support you throughout the entirety of the legal process. This includes representation at police stations, guidance through the investigation stage and representation at trial. If you are facing allegations of this nature, please do not hesitate to call a member of the team on 01616 966 229 or complete our online enquiry form.  


Kidnapping and false imprisonment 

Kidnap can be committed in various ways, but the fundamental principle is that you are taking someone without reasonable excuse or consent. Types of kidnap can include, kidnap for ransom, people smuggling kidnap, human trafficking kidnap, scam kidnap and political/terrorist kidnap.  

False imprisonment relates to detention against someone’s will. It is common for false imprisonment offences to arise within domestic settings and can include allegations of being locked in a property, or being stopped from leaving a vehicle.  

It is often the case that kidnap if closely followed by false imprisonment, in cases where the alleged victim is confined or detained after being taken through kidnap.   

What are the consequences if you are convicted of kidnap or false imprisonment? 

Kidnapping is an indictable offence, meaning it will only be dealt with in the Crown Court. The maximum sentence is life imprisonment. Given that it is so serious, it is essential that if you have been accused of kidnap or false imprisonment that you seek specialist legal advice in order to ensure you case is handled in the best possible manner to protect your interests and achieve the best possible outcome. 

The potential consequences for kidnap and false imprisonment are dependent upon the specifics of each case, such as the degree of planning, the use of a weapon, the vulnerability of the alleged victim, if ransom was involved and how many offenders were involved.  

What should I do if I’ve been accused of kidnap or false imprisonment? 

If you are facing allegations of kidnap, it is essential that you seek specialist legal advice.  We have a detailed understanding of how charges of this kind work and what is needed to build the strongest possible defence. In some instances, early engagement with the police investigation as well as making representations to the CPS before formally being charged, may lead to a decision not to prosecute or lead to you being charged with a lesser offence.  

We have expertise dealing with cases where evidence such as DNA analysis, fingerprints and mobile phone records make up a large proportion of evidence, which places us in a prime position to identify and expose any flaws in the prosecution case in relation to evidence.  


An offence of blackmail is committed if you make unwarranted demands with menaces in order to attain personal gain or project loss on another. The demands can be made expressly, be implied, written, spoken or through conduct. The nature of the demands, along with whether the demands are possible, is irrelevant.  

The majority of blackmail cases involve a threat to reveal information known about a person, unless that person, or someone on their behalf, pays for the information to remain a secret.  

What is the punishment for blackmail and what should I do if I have been accused of this offence? 

Our criminal defence solicitors understand that allegations of blackmail can cause a substantial amount of distress, which is why we aim to deal with cases in an efficient and discreet manner, in order to protect your best interests.  

Blackmail is treated as a very serious offence, the maximum sentence being 14 years imprisonment. We understand how daunting it may be to be accused of blackmail knowing the severity of the punishment at risk. This is why we strongly advise that you contact our team of experienced solicitors as soon as possible in order for you to have well-informed guidance and expert representation in order to defend your case.  

Contact our specialist solicitors for expert assistance 

If you are facing allegations of kidnap, false imprisonment or blackmail, our team are waiting and ready to hear from you. Please do not hesitate to contact the team on 01616 966 229 or complete our online enquiry form.  

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