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Experienced Attorneys Defending Individuals Accused of Kidnapping in Connecticut
At Duffy Law, our Connecticut kidnapping attorneys are committed to providing fully personalized, high-quality legal representation to our clients. We firmly believe that every person deserves their day in court. If you were charged with kidnapping, unlawful restraint, custodial interference, or any related offense, you need professional legal help. We are prepared to protect your legal rights. For a strictly confidential consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney, please do not hesitate to contact us at our New Haven law office by calling (203) 946-2000.
Connecticut Law: Kidnapping Charges
Kidnapping is a very serious criminal offense. Under Connecticut law, a defendant commits the crime of kidnapping if they knowingly abduct another person against their will. There is a common misconception that all kidnapping cases involve children as victims. While kidnapping certainly can involve children, the victim of this offense may also be an adult. Indeed, any person can be a victim of kidnapping.
If a person is abducted and held against their will, the responsible party may face kidnapping charges. The severity of these charges will depend on the specific nature of the case. In some cases, kidnapping can be charged as a Class A felony offense in Connecticut. Under Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-92, a defendant is guilty of first degree kidnapping if another person was abducted with the intent to:
- Elicit the payment of ransom; or
- Force a third party to take (or not take) some action;
- Injure the kidnapped person, sexually abuse the kidnapped person, or terrorize either the kidnapped person or some third person; or
- Advance or facilitate another felony offense; or
- Interfere with a core government function.
Class A felony kidnapping is a serious criminal charge. In Connecticut, this offense is punishable by a sentence of between 10 years and 25 years in prison and up to a $20,000 fine. Other kidnapping charges are also subject to strict criminal penalties, including the possibility of mandatory prison sentences.
What are the Defenses to Kidnapping Charges in Connecticut?
As with other criminal charges, Connecticut prosecutors can only convict a defendant of kidnapping if they can prove all of the required elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. It is important to remember that the state has the burden of presenting compelling evidence to support its selected criminal charge. In addition, there are a number of different affirmative defenses that can be raised in kidnapping cases. Specifically, some of the most important kidnapping defenses available in Connecticut include:
- Lack of knowledge that a kidnapping occurred; or
- The defendant is a parent or other party fleeing domestic violence; or
- The defendant was a relative and they were acting solely to gain lawful control of the victim.
Beyond these defenses, kidnapping charges can also be reduced if the alleged offender voluntarily released the victim into a safe place. While prosecutors can still pursue kidnapping charges in these cases, the severity of the penalties is likely to be reduced if the defendant took voluntary action to help ensure the safety of the victim before action was taken by law enforcement.
Related Offenses: Unlawful Restraint and Custodial Interference
Not every kidnapping case is the same. Indeed, kidnapping cases are often deeply complex. In some circumstances, kidnapping or alleged kidnapping may be charged as a related offense:
- Custodial Interference Charges in Connecticut: Parents, relatives, and other close family friends may face custodial interference charges as an alternative to kidnapping. Under Connecticut law, custodial interference is a Class A misdemeanor offense. It occurs when one party improperly denies the custody rights of another party either by taking or refusing to return a child to someone who has valid custody rights. A parent who simply refuses to drop their kid back off after their weekend visitation time may not be guilty of kidnapping, but they may still be charged with custodial interference. Of course, being charged with either kidnapping or custodial interference may have an adverse impact on one’s family law rights.
- Unlawful Restraint Charges in Connecticut: Unlawful restraint occurs when an individual improperly restricts the freedom of another party. Unlawful restraint is a complicated offense because it can involve so many different specific scenarios and fact patterns—from locking another person in a room to blocking someone in with a car. Generally, unlawful restraint does not involve the alleged offender moving the alleged victim to another location, but simply restricting their movements. Under Connecticut law, this offense can be charged as either a Class D felony or as a Class A misdemeanor. When unlawful restraint involves actual harm to the victim or it creates a substantial risk of physical harm to the victim, it will be charged as a felony.
Why Choose the Criminal Defense Lawyers at Duffy Law
There are few things more stressful and unnerving than being charged with a serious criminal offense—especially if the charges are based on false pretenses. At Duffy Law, our Connecticut kidnapping defense lawyers use decades of combined legal experience to provide zealous representation to our clients. Among other things, our New Haven criminal defense attorneys are prepared to:
- Listen to your story, answer your questions, and explain the kidnapping charges;
- Investigate the case and obtain any available evidence demonstrating your innocence;
- Carefully assess and identify your available options; and
- Take action to build a strong, effective legal defense.
Kidnapping charges should always be handled on a case-by-case basis. Our experienced Connecticut defense attorneys will take the time to understand exactly why charges have been filed and what needs to be done to protect your rights and secure your future—whether that is fighting back aggressively against false or unfair charges or looking for an option to reduce penalties and preserve your freedom.
Discuss Your Case With Our Connecticut Kidnapping Lawyer Today
At Duffy Law, our Connecticut kidnapping attorneys represent clients facing the full range of kidnapping charges. If you or your family member was accused of arrested for kidnapping, we are here to help. For a confidential criminal defense consultation, please contact our law firm today by calling (203) 946-2000. With an office located in New Haven, we handle kidnapping charges throughout the state of Connecticut, including in Middlesex County, Hartford County, Fairfield County, and Litchfield County.
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