Kidnapping is considered one of the most serious crimes under Ohio law. Kidnapping is always a felony charge and, if convicted, it comes with serious penalties including up to 11 years in prison.
Many people don’t realize how quickly an otherwise minor altercation or issue can get out of control and lead to kidnapping charges. An argument in a car, for example, can get out of hand if someone decides they do not want to go somewhere and it becomes kidnapping. Taking your own child away from the custodial parent can also be considered kidnapping or abduction. The same is true for locking someone in a room.
Even facing allegations of kidnapping or abduction can have life-changing consequences. If you are facing a kidnapping charge in Cincinnati, it’s crucial to begin building your defense as soon as possible. Contact Suhre & Associates, LLC for a consultation with a Cincinnati kidnapping defense lawyer. We will help you protect your legal rights and begin exploring options for your defense.
How Suhre & Associates, LLC Can Help When You Are Facing a Kidnapping Charge
While facing any type of criminal charges can be frightening, it can be worse when you are facing violent crime charges like kidnapping. It’s easy to feel hopeless, especially if the charges are the result of a seemingly minor situation getting out of control.
When you are facing serious criminal charges, remember that you are not alone. A team of experienced Cincinnati criminal lawyers can help you protect your legal rights and fight for your freedom.
The team at Suhre & Associates, LLC includes a former police officer and former prosecutors. We have over 100 years of combined experience. We use this valuable insight into the tactics the other side will use against you to give you the best legal defense possible.
Principal lawyer Joe Suhre alone has 5 years of law enforcement experience and 19 years of experience as a criminal defense lawyer. Suhre has been recognized numerous times as a Super Lawyer in Cincinnati.
Do not give up hope. Contact the aggressive Cincinnati kidnapping defense lawyers at Suhre & Associates, LLC today to begin your defense. We will fight to protect your rights and freedom!
What Is Kidnapping in Cincinnati?
Ohio Revised Code Chapter 29 defines several felony charges linked to kidnapping, abduction, and unlawful restraint. All of these charges are related to moving, holding, or keeping someone against their will.
Kidnapping and abduction both involve using force, threats, or deception to remove someone from a location. Abduction is the lesser charge as kidnapping includes additional intent and is a method to facilitate another crime.
Kidnapping is defined under Ohio law as abducting someone for the purposes of:
- Forcing involuntary servitude
- Holding for ransom
- Facilitating a felony
- Inflicting harm or terrorizing
- Engaging in sexual actions
- Impeding government activities
When the alleged victim is mentally incompetent or under 13, kidnapping can be charged for removing them from a place or restraining their liberty even without force, threat, or deception. Kidnapping in these cases can be charged no matter the purpose for the abduction.
The following are charges related to kidnapping under Ohio law.
Under Ohio Revised Code 2905.02, abduction refers to removing someone from a place using threats or force and restraining their liberty to create a risk of harm or holding them in involuntary servitude. Abduction is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years. It can be enhanced to a second-degree felony in some situations and punishable by up to 8 years in prison.
Unlawful Restraint or False Imprisonment
Ohio Revised Code 2905.03 defines unlawful restraint as knowingly engaging in behavior that restrains someone else of their liberty. This is a third-degree misdemeanor with a potential sentence of up to 60 days. It is often charged in conjunction with abduction or kidnapping.
Unlawful Conduct with Respect to Documents
This charge is often related to abduction, kidnapping, or human trafficking. It involves taking, holding, or destroying someone’s government-issued ID, passport or identifying paperwork to further another crime like compelling prostitution or kidnapping.
Under Ohio Revised Code 2905.33, unlawful conduct with respect to documents is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
Under Ohio Revised Code 2905.32, human trafficking is defined as recruiting, isolating, luring, obtaining, or knowingly attempting to do any of these to another person. These actions must be done knowing that the person will be subjected to either involuntary servitude or compelled to engage in sexual activities for hire, engage in obscene or sexually-oriented performance, or produce material that is sexually oriented or obscene.
Human trafficking is a first-degree felony with a potential prison term of up to 15 years.
What Are the Penalties for a Kidnapping Conviction in Ohio?
Kidnapping in Ohio is considered one of the most serious violent crimes. It’s a first-degree felony unless the person is released unharmed in a safe place, in which case it’s a second-degree felony.
If convicted of kidnapping in the first degree, you face 3 to 10 years in prison and fines up to $20,000. If the person is released unharmed and somewhere safe and not put at risk of serious harm, the penalties for second-degree kidnapping include 2 to 8 years in prison and fines up to $15,000.
It’s important to note that the crime of kidnapping often involves additional charges such as unlawful restraint and human trafficking. This can increase not only penalties but also a potential prison term if convicted of all charges.
Kidnapping and Sex Offender Registration
Sometimes a kidnapping case involves allegations of sexual assault. When abduction or human trafficking occurs with the purpose of engaging in sexual activities, you may face an additional serious penalty in addition to increased prison time.
If convicted, you may be required to register as a sex offender and labeled as a sex offender for life. In Ohio, there are several tiers of sex offender registration based on the severity of the sex offense.
- Unlawful restraint with sexual motivation is a Tier 1 offense. This requires you to register annually for 15 years.
- Abduction with a sexual motivation and kidnapping with a sexual motivation are Tier 2 offenses. This requires registering every 180 days for 25 years.
- Kidnapping a minor when you are not the parent or for sexual motivation are Tier 3 offenses. This requires registering every 90 days for the rest of your life and notifying the community.
Being forced to register as a sex offender can have life-changing ramifications. Regardless of tier or classification, you will be barred from living within 1,000 feet of a school, preschool, or daycare. At Tier 3, you must submit to community notification of law enforcement, daycare providers, schools and neighbors. You will also be listed in a searchable sex offender database.
Outside of these serious requirements, being classified as a sex offender can make it difficult to find gainful employment or even a place to live.
How Can I Defend Myself if I’m Charged with Kidnapping?
No matter the circumstances, facing a kidnapping charge can be frightening and you may feel hopeless. It’s important to remember that there are many possible legal defenses to kidnapping charges. At Suhre & Associates, LLC, a criminal defense attorney in Cincinnati will help you investigate your criminal case and build your defense.
You may not have intended to remove someone to another location for one of the purposes required under Ohio’s kidnapping statute. Being convicted of kidnapping requires that an abduction of an adult happened for specific reasons such as facilitating a felony or engaging in sexual activities.
Sometimes after an argument or to hide the real circumstances of the incident, one party may falsely claim they were taken against their will. You may also be able to defend yourself by asserting that the other party consented to being removed from their location. If the alleged victim willingly and knowingly went to a new location, the elements of the kidnapping charge have not been met.
In the case of kidnapping a child, there are also several legally-established defenses, even if you are not the child’s parent. If the child was at risk, the law recognizes your duty to protect the child from a situation you believed could have been physically, emotionally, or sexually dangerous. You may also have a defense if you had temporary permission from a guardian or you believed you were in danger and fleeing with the child.
Many cases of kidnapping of a minor involve custody arrangements, contentious divorce, or domestic violence. You have a defense if you made a mistake, you had the child during your court-recognized time, or you were fleeing an abusive or dangerous situation with the child.
Contact a Cincinnati Kidnapping Defense Lawyer
Are you facing kidnapping charges in Cincinnati? While you may feel hopeless with your freedom on the line, there is hope. Legal counsel from an experienced Cincinnati kidnapping defense lawyer is the first step. The sooner you begin exploring your defense options and gathering evidence, the better your chances.
Suhre & Associates, LLC has over 100 years of combined experience representing Cincinnati residents facing serious criminal charges. We have insight into the tactics that law enforcement and prosecutors use and put it to work to build your defense. Contact our law firm today to schedule your consultation to get started on your defense.