You were desperate for cash, so you robbed a corner store. Things got heated, and you grabbed another customer’s arm and pulled them in front of you to block the store owner’s path as you made you way out the door.
You got caught and, in addition to robbery charges, you’re also facing kidnapping charges. What just happened?
Well, most people don’t realize that the legal definition of kidnapping can be very broad. You can be charged with kidnapping for abducting someone and holding them against their will, even if you only did so for a few moments and didn’t actually take them anywhere. Maybe you pulled on their arm or dragged them behind you during your escape.
When courts examine a situation to see if it meets the definition of kidnapping, they will disregard the fact that you moved the victim if it was only “incidental” to another offense — like bumping them out of the way as you went toward the cash register. The court will not consider movement “incidental,” however, when:
- You moved the victim to try to avoid apprehension.
- You were trying to reduce the risk of detection.
- You moved the victim to make committing your other offense easier.
- You isolated or concealed the victim in some way.
A kidnapping charge in Georgia is very serious. If convicted of kidnapping someone 14 years of age or older, you’ll face a minimum of 10 years in prison. If the victim was younger, you’ll face a minimum of 25 years behind bars.
If you’re charged with kidnapping, don’t make the situation worse by talking with the police. Talk to an experienced defense attorney as soon as you can.