Kidnapping cases are not always as straightforward as they may seem. Cinema and television may portray your typical kidnapping for ransom scenario, though these situations occur far and few between in reality. The circumstances that lead to kidnapping charges may have begun without malice and instead snowballed out of control. One scenario our firm’s attorneys have encountered in particular involved a parent sharing custody of a child who attempted to flee the State with the shared child. Regardless of the circumstances of your case, it is imperative that you fully understand the nature of these charges. As an indictable felony offense, your case will be handled by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at the Ocean County Superior Court. If convicted, you could be facing a term of life imprisonment. It is crucial that you contact an experienced Ocean County Criminal Attorney today about you kidnapping charges. If your charges are based on a misunderstanding or some other confusion, it is important that this information be brought to light.
New Jersey and Ocean County law enforcement will charge a kidnapping offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1(a) and N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1(b). To even begin to understand what these laws mean, you need to read through each respective statute. For your convenience, we have provided you with a quick breakdown of these laws:
A person is guilty of kidnapping if he unlawfully removes another from the place where he is found or if he unlawfully confines another with the purpose of holding that person for ransom or reward or as a shield or hostage.
A person is guilty of kidnapping if he unlawfully removes another from his place of residence or business, or a substantial distance from the vicinity where he is found, or if he unlawfully confines another for a substantial period, with any of the following purposes: (1) to facilitate commission of any crime or flight thereafter; (2) to inflict bodily injury on or to terrorize the victim or another; or (3) to interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function.
What is an Unlawful Removal for Kidnapping Charges?
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1(d), a removal (or confinement) is “unlawful” if it is accomplished by force, threat or deception. However, in the case of a person who is under the age of 14 or who is incompetent, a removal (or confinement) is “unlawful” if it is accomplished without the consent of a parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the general supervision of his or her welfare.
Are there Any Defenses to Kidnapping Charges?
The New Jersey Criminal Code recognizes that not all situations that may constitute “kidnapping” under letter of law should be prosecuted. For this reason, affirmative defenses were created under N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1(e) and N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1(f). These defenses exist when the defendant reasonably believed that they were protect the victim from imminent danger or where the defendant reasonably believed they had the consent of the parent or guardian to take the minor. These types of defenses are case-specific and fact sensitive. Speak with an attorney to determine if you or your loved one could pursue such a defense.
Pretrial Detention for Kidnapping Charges?
Under New Jersey’s recent bail reform guidelines, courts have been directed to eliminate monetary bail and only detain those defendants who pose a serious threat and have been charged with serious crimes. Under these new guidelines, the Ocean County Prosecutor must file a motion for pretrial detention after a defendant has been arrested and charged. Otherwise, the accused will be released pending a new court date. These detention motions are filed regularly by the prosecutor’s office on most indictable crimes and acts of domestic violence. For criminal charges like kidnapping, you can expect the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office to file a motion for Pretrial Detention after you arrest. This requires that formal hearing be conducted to determine whether you will be released with pretrial monitoring or detain during the entire process of your case. For more information on these hearings and how we can assist you, contact our office at (848) 238-2100.
What are the Penalties for Kidnapping in New Jersey?
If charged and convicted of first degree kidnapping, the judge is required to sentence you to a term of imprisonment between 15 and 30 years in a New Jersey State Penitentiary. However, if the victim is less than 16 years old and a sexual assault or sexual contact occured the period of imprisonment enhances to 25 years to life. In this scenario, the defendant must serve at least 25 years in prison before even being considered for parole. In addition to imprisonment, the defendant is subject to a $200,000.00 fine. If charged and convicted of second degree kidnapping, you or your loved one will be facing a sentence between five (5) and ten (10) years imprisonment along with a $150,000 fine.
Kidnapping Lawyers in Brick Township NJ
Kidnapping is one of the most serious criminal offenses under New Jersey’s Criminal Code. If you are arrested and charged with kidnapping in Ocean County, you are facing a lengthy prison sentence and public embarrassment. If you or a loved one have been arrested and detained based on criminal charges involving kidnapping, please do not hesitate to contact our office. We can walk you through the entire process and help explain what steps we can take to help protect you and your family in these trying times. For an immediate and complimentary consultation with a Toms River Criminal Lawyer, please contact our office today at (848) 238-2100. We can be reached 24/7 for your convenience and we will happily answer any questions you may have about the case.
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We are available weekdays during business hours. We also meet with clients on evenings and weekends by request. All major credit cards are accepted.