Articles Tagged with Chicago kidnapping attorney

simon-migaj-423321-unsplash-copy-300x200A man from Central Illinois was sentenced to 48 years in prison for the death of another man during a kidnapping.

Danny Smith Jr., a 30-year-old from Peoria, was given a prison sentence of 48 years after the death of 41-year-old Maunds Bryant of Normal Illinois. Smith allegedly kidnapped Bryant to steal Bryant’s recent lottery winnings. Bryant and his family won $420,000 from the Illinois State Lottery. After the abduction, Smith demanded $25,000 in ransom.

Smith, according to prosecutors, kidnapped Bryant and Bryant’s stepfather. During the course of the crime, Bryant fell. He sustained a head injury from which he later died.

kevin-gent-219197-copy-300x200Kidnapping 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.

kira-auf-der-heide-352824-unsplash-copy-200x300Are you facing kidnapping charges in the Chicago area? Are you worried that the charges will land you in jail for a long time? Regardless of your situation, the best thing you can do when charged with kidnapping is hire a criminal defense attorney immediately. An experienced lawyer will be able to evaluate your case and provide you with an honest assessment. An experienced lawyer will also be able to help you build one of the defenses to kidnapping charges outlined below.

The Victim Gave Consent

One of the most common defenses used against kidnapping charges is that the victim actually gave consent. This means that the person who went with the alleged kidnapper originally did so because he or she wanted to do so. At some point during their travels the ‘victim’ decided that they no longer wanted to be with the kidnapper and became fearful, regretful, or angry. This is usually what then leads to the claim of kidnapping and the subsequent arrest and charges filed.

file0001845042578
A 6-year-old boy from East Moline who was kidnapped in Illinois and taken to Thailand was recently returned home safe and sound. Interestingly, the man who kidnapped the boy is actually his own father. According to WTHITV 10, the boy was not returned to his mother on June 19th after a court arranged visitation with his estranged father. The next day, the East Moline Police Department issued a warrant for the father’s arrest and, after working with several federal agencies, was able to track the father to Bangkok where he had been detained by local authorities for an immigration violation. The kidnapped child was turned over to the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok and was returned to his mother on July 12th. According to the authorities, the father has been charged with kidnapping.

Is it Possible to Kidnap Your Own Child?

In Illinois, a person can be convicted of kidnapping (720 ILCS 5/10-1) if they knowingly and secretly confine another against his or her will:

If you watch the news or use social media, you no doubt heard about a pair of Washington state siblings who thwarted a potential kidnapping of their 22-month-old brother. The attempted kidnapping – which was caught on camera and shows the kidnapper running away with the boy in his arms, the siblings running close behind – is every parent’s worst nightmare and reinforces the idea of “stranger danger.” But kidnapping encompasses much more than that.

1109590825_e924ec3f6c

Illinois Kidnapping Laws

In Illinois, a person commits the crime of kidnapping if he knowingly:

  1. And secretly confines another against his will;
  2. Carries a person from one place to another, by force or threat of force, with the intent to secretly confine her against her will, or;
  3. Tricks or entices a person to accompany him to another location with the intent to secretly confine the person against his will.

I will discuss each crime separately, to provide a better understanding of the types of actions that can constitute kidnapping under Illinois laws.

Secretly confine against one’s will

This form of kidnapping does not require that the victim be moved to another location or even be snatched off the street. The victim must only be confined against her will. The confinement can occur in any public or private place – even the victim’s own home. The location itself, or how the victim got there, is irrelevant to whether the crime was committed. The victim must have only had a reasonable belief that she was unable to leave.

Carry a person from one place to another

This is the most commonly thought of kidnapping scenario, the unknown assailant attacking a person on the street, or removing a child from his home in the middle of the night, and moving him to a secret location to be held for ransom. The movement does not need to be very far to fall into this category of kidnapping. A victim can be pushed into the kidnapper’s car and driven a block away to an abandoned building, and it would constitute a kidnapping.

Using tricks or enticement to move a person

Again, the typical scenario that comes to mind is the stranger in the car who tells the child, “Come with me and I’ll show you my puppy.” In this form of kidnapping, the victim willingly goes with the kidnapper, but under false pretenses.

The ‘knowingly’ requirement

Kidnapping is a specific intent crime, which means that the kidnapper must have known he was holding the victim against her will. If the kidnapper had a reasonable belief that the victim consented to being held, or consented to accompany him to a third location, then he failed to commit an essential element of the crime and cannot be convicted.

Continue reading