Kidnapping Defense Lawyer in Phoenix
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Phoenix Kidnapping Lawyer
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Kidnapping accusations can be life-altering, and they can jeopardize your future and your reputation. If you are facing kidnapping charges, you need a skilled attorney who can help you fight against them. Phoenix criminal defense lawyer Belén Olmedo Guerra is proud to serve the residents of Phoenix and beyond with expert criminal defense services.
When it comes to safeguarding your liberty, the Belén Law Firm is prepared to take on any challenge. Call our law office at (602) 715-0908 to schedule a free consultation regarding your kidnapping charge today.
What is Considered Kidnapping in Arizona?
Kidnapping occurs when someone knowingly restrains someone against their will for various reasons and purposes. For example, if a person seizes someone else in order to commit a sexual offense against them or forces them into involuntary servitude, that person could be charged with kidnapping.
ARS § 13-1304
The Arizona kidnapping law, ARS § 13-1304, states that someone commits kidnapping if they are knowingly restraining a person to:
- Hold them for ransom, involuntary servitude, or as a hostage;
- Inflict death, physical injury, or a sexual offense on them;
- Have them aid in committing a felony offense;
- Place them or a third person in reasonable danger of imminent physical injury;
- Interfere with the performance of a governmental or political function; or
- Seize or exercise control over any airplane, train, bus, ship, or other vehicle.
In order for kidnapping charges to stick, the person who allegedly committed the crime must have done so for one of the above-listed reasons.
Offenses Related to Kidnapping Charges
In Arizona, there are a few crimes that are typically related to kidnapping. In some cases, a person who is facing kidnapping charges may also face one or more of these additional criminal charges in relation to the kidnapping. These include unlawful imprisonment, custodial interference (or parental interference), and aggravated assault.
Unlawful imprisonment (ARS § 13-1303) occurs when someone knowingly restrains another person. There are a few defenses to this crime, including when a peace officer restrains someone while lawfully performing their duty.
Custodial interference (ARS § 13-1302) occurs when someone knowingly takes a child (or mentally handicapped adult) from the person who has lawful custody of them. Custodial interference can come up in child custody disputes when a parent takes their child away from whoever has custody of the child. This can also occur when someone entices or withholds a child from someone who has custody of the child.
According to Arizona law, aggravated assault (ARS § 13-1204) occurs after someone commits assault, which is when a person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes physical injury to another person. Assault becomes aggravated assault when someone injures another person under certain circumstances. In relation to kidnapping, someone may also commit aggravated assault if they:
- Seriously injure the victim;
- Use a deadly weapon to injure the victim;
- Injure the victim while they are bound or otherwise physically restrained; or
- Injure a child under the age of 15.
What are the Penalties for Kidnapping in Arizona?
Kidnapping charges are incredibly serious and can lead to severe consequences. Additionally, the consequences vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the crime and the kidnapped person’s release.
In Arizona, kidnapping is a class 2 felony punishable by five years in prison, unless:
- The victim was released voluntarily and uninjured, and released before committing any of the prohibited reasons listed in the law, then it is a class 4 felony punishable by two years and six months in prison.
- The victim was released in an agreement with law enforcement and they were uninjured, it is a class 3 felony punishable by three years and six months of jail time.
- The victim was under the age of 15, it is a class 2 felony and is punishable by 10-24 years in prison. This sentence will run consecutively with any other crimes the defendant is charged with.
Additionally, if a person kidnaps someone and they transport the victim across state lines, they can be charged with a federal offense and face harsher punishments. They can also be charged with a federal crime if they kidnap someone involved in foreign commerce.
Why You Need a Phoenix Kidnapping Defense Lawyer
Kidnapping is among some of the most serious criminal offenses a person can commit, which is why it is a felony. If you have been charged with kidnapping, a criminal defense lawyer can help ensure you receive a fair trial and can also help you receive a favorable outcome.
Phoenix kidnapping attorney Belén Olmedo Guerra is prepared to guide you through the legal process and fight for your freedom in court. She will leave no stone unturned in your defense–call (602) 715-0908 today and schedule a free case evaluation regarding your kidnapping case.
How a Skilled Lawyer Can Strengthen Your Defense Strategy
If you are charged with kidnapping, a criminal defense attorney can help defend you and your interests throughout the entirety of your criminal proceedings.
Building a Strong Defense
A criminal defense attorney will know the ins and outs of Arizona laws and will also know what defenses to use against kidnapping charges. Attorneys can prove to the court that their client:
- Did not act with intent to do one of the prohibited actions in the statute;
- Did not restrain the alleged victim; or
- Were only present for the kidnapping and were not actually the kidnapper.
Attorneys can also prove that the alleged victim consented to being restrained or that their client was not knowingly restraining the victim.
Identifying Inconsistencies and Weaknesses in the Prosecution’s Case
An experienced kidnapping defense attorney will not only know Arizona’s kidnapping law, but they will also know what kinds of arguments the prosecution may make against their client. From there, they’ll be able to point out any inconsistencies in the prosecution’s argument and take advantage of any weaknesses in their case.
Protecting Defendants’ Rights
Even if a person commits kidnapping, they still deserve the right to a fair trial. Additionally, if someone who is facing kidnapping charges had their rights violated at any point in the justice process, their criminal defense lawyer can request to have the charges dismissed.
Examining Testimonies of the Alleged Victim
Kidnapping cases often involve testimonies from the alleged victim. A kidnapping defense lawyer will know how to properly cross-examine the victim and will know what questions to ask them. Asking the victim strategic questions can help create doubt about the prosecution’s claims.
Collecting and Presenting Evidence
If someone is charged with kidnapping, a defense attorney can help gather and present evidence in court to help prove that their client did not commit kidnapping, or that they deserve a lesser sentence. Someone facing a kidnapping charge may not know how to gain access to evidence or may not know what kind of evidence to present in court, but a criminal defense lawyer will.
Negotiating Plea Bargains and Alternatives
Kidnapping charges can have severe consequences, and the prosecution may have a large amount of evidence against the person facing those charges. In that situation, a criminal defense attorney can help negotiate with the prosecution in order to receive a plea deal or a lessened sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. This can help someone accused of kidnapping avoid maximum punishment or allow them to plead to a lesser crime.
Need a Phoenix Kidnapping Attorney? Call The Belén Law Firm Today
Being charged with any crime can be incredibly stressful. In addition to threatening your freedom, criminal charges like kidnapping can permanently stain your criminal record and affect your ability to seek employment, apply for loans, find housing, and more. The legal team at Belén Law Firm can help you receive a favorable outcome in your criminal case. We have the knowledge, skills, and experience to handle Arizona kidnapping cases, even when they involve additional charges like aggravated assault.