Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer
For the individual indicted for kidnapping, the charge itself often seems incomprehensible. After all, in the vast majority of cases, the accused did not “kidnap” anyone. The crime of kidnapping would appear to be almost self-evident – a person absconds with a parent’s child – a “kid,” or at least transports an adult against his or her will to a remote location and demands a ransom for his or her return. While that may be how the crime had been historically interpreted and applied under common law, prosecutors have been increasingly charging individuals with the crime of kidnapping where the alleged conduct does not support such a charge. A Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer can help.
G.L. c. 265, §26 essentially codifies the common law definition of kidnapping, defining it as forcibly or secretly confining or imprisoning another person against his will, forcibly carrying away or sending a person out of the state, or forcibly seizing and confining or inveigling or kidnapping another person, with intent to either cause him to be secretly confined or imprisoned against his will. Prosecutors pervert the purpose of this criminal statute by twisting allegations to meet the “technical” definition of kidnapping.
Prosecutors indicting an individual for rape typically add the charge of kidnapping, reasoning that while the man committed the crime of rape he must have been holding the victim against her will as well. By adding the charge of kidnapping, prosecutors can elevate the charge of rape to aggravated rape and, thereby, dramatically increase the potential prison time the individual will serve if convicted. Kidnapping alone is punishable by imprisonment in state prison for not more than ten years or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars and imprisonment in jail for not more than two years. If the crime was committed with the intent of extorting money or something else of value, the accused individual faces life in prison. If the accused commits the crime while armed with a firearm with the intent of extorting money or something else of value, he faces a prison sentence of no less than 20 years.
The more common definition of kidnapping can be found later in the statute: Whoever, without lawful authority, forcibly or secretly confines or imprisons a child under the age of 16 within the commonwealth against his will or forcibly carries or sends such person out of the commonwealth or forcibly seizes and confines or inveigles or kidnaps a child under the age of 16 with the intent either to cause him to be secretly confined or imprisoned in the commonwealth against his will or to cause him to be sent out of the commonwealth against his will or in any way held to service against his will, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 15 years. The provisions of the preceding sentence shall not apply to the parent of a child under 16 years of age who takes custody of such child.
For the individual charged with kidnapping, that the prosecutor has misapplied the statute provides little solace and no relief. It is a serious offense. And, it must be rebutted by a serious and experienced criminal trial lawyer.
Contact a Massachusetts Defense Lawyer
Attorney Kevin J. Mahoney has successfully defended every one of his clients accused of kidnapping. Call the Mahoney Criminal Defense Group at 617-492-0055 to arrange a free in-office consultation with Attorney Mahoney.