Kidnapping is a crime that prosecutors take seriously in Muskogee, Oklahoma. If you or a loved one is being charged with kidnapping, your first move should be to get help. An attorney can really help protect your rights and freedom. You need to know about how the crime is handled in Oklahoma. Here are some things you might want to know in that regard.
In Muskogee, kidnapping is when someone acting without lawful authority takes, confines, lures, kidnaps, abducts, or carries away another with the intent to cause that person to be confined, sent out of the state, or sold as a slave against his or her will. Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 741
The crime is a felony in Oklahoma and is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
How Kidnapping Most Often Occurs
We all have the idea that most kidnappings are abductions by strangers, but most of the time the kidnapper is known to the victim. In fact, many kidnappings occur during domestic disputes between warring parents. It can happen when there is a domestic incident and one of the parents takes the child and hides it away from the other parent.
Kidnapping can also occur during the commission of another crime such as robbery. The taking and holding of a hostage is a kidnapping.
Even a short period of confinement may result in charges. Unlawful confinement, which can be as simple as holding someone against their will for a short time in their home, is enough for charges to be filed.
Abducting, confining, luring, or holding a victim in exchange for money or something else of value is extortionate kidnapping and is forbidden by Oklahoma law. The crime is a felony and is punishable by at least 10 years in prison. And knowingly aiding someone or participating in an extortionate kidnapping is also a felony punishable by at least five years in prison. Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 745
Human Trafficking: A Type of Kidnapping
Human trafficking, whether for sex or other purposes such as forced labor, is a type of confining and holding of a person against their will. Thus, this crime is punishable under the kidnapping statutes.
A conviction of human trafficking is a felony punishable by five years to life in prison, a fine of up to $100,000, or both.
If the person trafficked is under 18, the crime is punishable by 15 years to life in prison, a fine up to $250,000, or both.
If convicted of human trafficking, you must serve 85% of your prison term before becoming eligible for parole. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 748
Elements and Defenses
Like all crimes, kidnapping has specific elements that must be proven in order for the prosecution to secure a conviction. When any element is not proven beyond a reasonable doubt, there should be no conviction. Therefore, evidence that tends to disprove any element is a viable defense to the crime.
Here are the elements of kidnapping:
- taking, confining, luring, abducting, or carrying away
- another person
- with the intent to confine, imprison, sell, send that person out of the state, or hold that person against their will.
Defenses may be available to you. However, it is important to know that the consent of the victim is usually not a defense — unless the jury believes that the victim was over 12 years old and that their consent was not extorted by threat or duress.
The act must be unlawful. If the act is being done with permission or lawfully, there is no crime.
In a domestic dispute, depending on the circumstances, a parent may have the right to take a child out of harm’s way in order to protect him or her.
If a parent takes a child out of school, but has legal custody of the child, the act may be lawful.
The crime also requires specific intent. Even if there is a taking, if the prosecution is unable to prove that the defendant had the required intent, there can be no conviction.
For all these reasons, facts are very important in kidnapping cases. Therefore, you should carefully review the facts of your case with an experienced Muskogee criminal law attorney.
Free Consultation: Muskogee Criminal Defense Attorney
Are you facing criminal charges and need help? Get the help you need to protect your freedom today. Talk to a Muskogee criminal defense attorney.
Our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys pride themselves on providing you the best possible legal defense at reasonable rates.
Call 918-913-0725 today for an initial free consultation. You can also submit the question form at the top right of this page.