Kidnapping is a serious crime in the United States that is most often defined as taking someone against his or her will to another location or holding that person in a controlled environment. It is possible that in some instances there must be an illegal activity associated with the act of kidnapping, in order for charges to be filed, such as extorting the victim or a relative or facilitating another type of crime. There are also times when parents have been charged with kidnapping their own child, especially if they do not have primary physical custody of the child. Today, we will take a look at kidnapping laws in Illinois and throughout the country.
Federal Kidnapping Laws
Federal kidnapping laws govern this crime all across the United States, not just in one state or another. This means that being charged with kidnapping in Chicago can come with federal charges if the crime meets the federal requirements. The federal laws governing kidnapping make it a serious felony charge that could result in up to 20 years or more in federal prison. The sentence issued for a federal kidnapping case depends on the prior record of the defendant and other circumstances surrounding the crime.
For the most part, kidnapping cases are handled by local and state governments. The federal government does not usually get involved in kidnapping cases unless they involve transporting the victim across state lines. When a kidnapper crosses state lines, it usually causes multiple agencies to get involved in the investigation and attempt to rescue the victim.
Illinois Kidnapping Laws
Under the law in Illinois, a person can be charged with kidnapping if he or she held another person against his or her will knowingly or moved another person against his or her will to a different location using the threat of force or violence. There does not always have to be a threat of force or violence present for kidnapping to occur. Kidnapping can also take place using fraud, deceit, and enticement.
Child Abduction Laws for International Cases
There are also child abduction laws in place for international cases. The court in the country where the case originated will have jurisdiction over prosecuting the defendant. On top of the laws of the country where the kidnapping took place, there are also more than 80 countries that use international civil law. Most notably, countries have adopted the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. This is a treaty that helps to decrease the time it takes to get a child back to his or her home country after being abducted. The treaty does not handle any criminal matters related to kidnapping, just who has jurisdiction of the case.
Parental kidnapping is a serious issue that affects thousands of families every year in Illinois. Most parental kidnapping cases involve more than just disagreements about custody. It is a serious crime at the local, state, and federal levels all throughout the country, in the District of Columbia, and in the Virgin Islands. Parental kidnapping often leads to the child having his or her name and appearance changed in an effort to avoid being found by authorities or a member of the public who has seen a recent news report of AMBER alert.
Contact an Attorney Today
The minute you are charged with kidnapping, you need to begin building a defense for your case. It is imperative that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Chicago to move forward with a defense so that your freedom is not at risk. Call the office of David Freidberg at 312-560-7100 to schedule a consultation today.
(image courtesy of Kevin Gent)