Standing accused of any type of crime can throw your life off track. You may not have believed that your actions warranted criminal charges or that authorities would take your actions as seriously as they did. Now, you must contend with the repercussions.
You may have thought you were only messing around, or maybe you acted without fully thinking through your actions. Nonetheless, officers took you into custody on charges that included kidnapping. As a result, you likely now need to understand what kidnapping charges mean in Indiana and how such charges could apply to your circumstances.
What is kidnapping?
It is common for people to think of small children being snatched from their parents when they hear the word "kidnap." However, the term can also apply to adults and is sometimes referred to as abduction. In general terms, if police officers believe that you removed a person from one place to another without his or her consent, you could face kidnapping charges.
What are the levels of kidnapping?
Under state law, kidnapping is a felony. The lowest level of kidnapping is a level six, and it means that someone intentionally removed another person from one place to another through means of fraud, threat of force, enticement or force. If convicted of level six kidnapping, you could face up to two-and-a-half years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. More serious levels of kidnapping include the following:
- Level five: You could face a range of one to six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 if convicted of a kidnapping crime that involved using a vehicle, caused bodily harm to others or involved a person under the age of 14 who is not your child.
- Level three: If the kidnapping involved a deadly weapon, took place on an aircraft or caused bodily harm to others, you could face a range of three to 16 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000 should a conviction take place.
- Level two: If you intended to obtain a ransom, removed the person to use as a hostage or shield, tried to help yourself or someone else escape prison, or hijacked a vehicle as part of the kidnapping, you could face a range of 10 to 30 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Having information on the different levels of kidnapping could help you understand the exact allegations you face. This information could also allow you to determine your most viable criminal defense approach to the charges.