Grand Junction Kidnapping Defense Lawyers
Have you been accused of kidnapping? If so, you know those accused of it are often treated harshly. If you have been charged with kidnapping, you are watching your reputation, your relationships, and even your job crumble away. Even an accusation can be enough to ruin someone’s life. That is why you need to approach your case with an aggressive criminal defense lawyer.
We at Peters & Nolan, LLC, have the expertise you need in your trial. We have represented countless people charged with serious crimes in Colorado, including kidnapping. This means we know what to expect, and the best methods for dismantling the prosecution’s arguments. To speak with a top attorney, dial (970) 243-4357. We offer free initial consultations.
Under Colorado law, there are multiple kidnapping crimes. The kind you may initially think of, forcibly taking someone from one location to a second location, is called second-degree kidnapping. With this crime, the movement or imprisonment of the victim is the purpose of the crime.
On the other hand, first-degree kidnapping is when a victim is taken for the purpose of ransom. First-degree does not require the movement of the victim, only the act of ransoming the victim, while second-degree kidnapping always requires transporting the victim at least a small distance. The penalties for first-degree kidnapping are often far worse.
Kidnapping is always considered a felony under Colorado law. This is true even if the victim was unharmed. If you are convicted of a kidnapping crime, you will lose certain rights, such as the right to own a firearm and the right to use government assistance programs, even after you are released from prison. Of course, that may be the least of your worries, considering that the penalties for first-degree kidnapping are:
- Up to 24 years in prison
- Fines of up to $1,000,000
You will also lose your rights if you are convicted of second-degree kidnapping. On top of the loss of rights, you may also be facing:
- Up to 8 years in prison
- Fines of up to $500,000
Of course, these are the penalties if there are no aggravating factors or other charges heaped on top of the kidnapping.
When a crime is committed, there are certain actions the criminal can commit or circumstances surrounding the victim to make the penalties harsher. These are known as aggravating factors. These factors can and will be brought up in court as reasons why the criminal should face maximum penalties.
For first-degree kidnapping, the maximum prison sentence is 24 years. However, if the victim was harmed in any way, or the kidnapper used or threatened to use a deadly weapon, then the maximum sentence is increased to:
- 48 years to life in prison
Second-degree kidnapping has a tier list. If the victim was taken for the purpose of sale or trade for drugs, money, or other goods, then the maximum sentence increases to:
- 16 years in prison
If the kidnapper intended to sell or trade the victim, as well as used or threatened to use a deadly weapon, then a conviction could lead to:
- 32 years in prison
- Up to $750,000 in fines
If the victim was also robbed by the kidnapper, then the penalties go up to:
- 24 years in prison
- Up to $1,000,000 in fines
If the robbery was completed by using or threatening to use a deadly weapon, then the criminal can expect:
- 48 years in prison
- Up to $1,000,000 in fines
If the victim was sexually assaulted or raped during the kidnapping and the kidnapper used or threatened to use a deadly weapon, then the penalty jumps all the way to:
- Life in prison
All of this to say that someone who is facing charges for kidnapping can never truly know what the prison sentence will be if he or she is convicted. If you have been charged with kidnapping, whether first- or second-degree, there is a very real chance you could spend the next few decades behind bars. That is why you need to go into your trial with a strong defense.
Kidnapping is a serious crime; one that is hard to defend against. However, a skilled criminal defense attorney can launch an investigation into your case, finding the weak points in the prosecution’s story. With enough reasonable doubt, your charges could be reduced or dropped, or you may be acquitted by a jury. Some of the common defenses against a kidnapping charge include:
- You did not move the victim to a second location.
- You were within your legal rights to move or otherwise detain the victim.
- You are not the kidnapper.
- You moved the victim in order to keep him or her safe from harm.
- You did not force, threaten or coerce the victim into moving.
- You did not intend to ransom, trade, or sell the victim.
- You did not cause the victim any harm.
- You did not use a deadly weapon.
Finding the right defense will require a lot of skill and time, which may be difficult to get from a public defender. Public defenders, while good people, are overworked, and can only give their clients so much attention. A private defense attorney from a top-notch firm, however, can give your case the time it truly needs.
A serious crime requires a serious defense. At Peters & Nolan, LLC, we specialize in aggressive criminal defense in Colorado, bringing our clients the dedication they need for their trial. If the prospect of spending the rest of your life behind bars doesn’t sound pleasant to you, then we recommend calling for your free consultation. To do so, dial (970) 243-4357. We are ready to help.
Peters & Nolan, LLC is your ideal source for high quality legal representation throughout the state of Colorado. Known for being personable and responsive, attorneys Andrew J. Peters and Andrew Nolan are aggressive trial lawyers with an excellent record of trying and settling cases in criminal defense, DUI/DWAI and personal injury.