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A New York City Criminal Attorney Explains Kidnapping

KIDNAPPING is a complex criminal offense.  Typically, kidnapping is the taking of another person against their will and holding them in unlawful confinement. Kidnapping could be for the purpose of ransom or political maneuvering.  So-called “traditional” kidnapping is the smallest percentage of kidnapping offenses in the United States.  The majority of kidnapping cases involve the taking of your own child across regional or state lines outside the agreed custody arrangement.  If the child is competent and is not unhappy or agrees with their removal from the home or court arrangement then it is generally classified as “child abduction” instead of kidnapping.

Basically, the crime of kidnapping New York has a very simple definition “anyone who abducts another person”.  This is, however, a serious and complex charge as can be seen the related statutes listed below. Anyone who has been or suspects they will be charged with this crime needs the help of New York City kidnapping lawyer, who has a great deal of experience in the area of kidnapping and the related crimes.  The Law Office of Bukh Law Firm, PLLC is the top rated in New York criminal defense.

The form of kidnapping that most of us are familiar with, that of taking and restraining a person and then asking a third person or corporation for ransom is actually a rare form of the usual kidnapping cases seen in New York.  This form of kidnapping may even rise to a federal crime and have a terrorism component.

The kidnapping seen day to day in NY courtrooms is most often that of noncustodial parents taking control of children not legally in their custody.  The defendants in these cases should not be complacent because the court looks on them as parental cases.  If convicted, these defendants can still receive a good amount of jail time as a penalty for this crime even if it involves their own children.  An excellent NYC kidnapping attorney can negotiate this type of case and possibly remove any jail time from the equation.  The Law Office of Bukh Law Firm, PLLC is proud of our ability to help our clients in this way.

Form of kidnapping

Kidnapping Attorney is a Must If You’ve been Charged

Listed below are the New York penal statutes which apply to kidnapping and the associated crimes of unlawful imprisonment:

§135.00 Unlawful imprisonment, kidnapping and custodial interference.
This is the definitional part of the statute defining what is meant by restraint, restricting the victims movements in an unlawful way and abduction, which is hiding the victim where they can’t be found or threatening someone with bodily harm to make them go to a certain place.  The last term is “relative” as a parent, ancestor, brother, sister, uncle or aunt.

§135.05 Unlawful imprisonment in the second degree.
Very simply stated a person is guilty of this crime if they restrain another person.  This is a Class A misdemeanor.

§135.10 Unlawful imprisonment in the first degree.
This charge rises to first degree if the victim is restrained in such a way as to cause a risk of serious physical injury.  This is a Class E felony.

§135.20 Kidnapping in the second degree.
Once again the statute is very simple, this occurs when a person abducts another person.  This is a Class B felony.

§135.25 Kidnapping in the first degree.
The charge rises to the first degree when a ransom is asked for, or the victim is compelled to complete a certain action or not complete some action he was going to perform.  Also if the person is restrained for more than 12 hours and the defendant intends to inflict physical injury on the victim, accomplishes a felony such as bank robbery, or terrorizes the victim or another person.  The final element that rises to first degree kidnapping is if the victim dies during the abduction or before they are returned to safety.  Of special note is that such death is presumed if the victim is child or an incompetent person at the time of abduction. This is a Class A-1 felony.

§ 135.45 Custodial interference in the second degree.
If the defendant is a relative of a child under sixteen or an incompetent and entices the victim from his lawful guardian, knows he has no legal right to custody and intends to keep the victim for a long period of time.   This is a Class A misdemeanor.

§135.40 Custodial interference in the first degree.
When the victim is taken permanently from the state or when the victim is exposed to such high risk that his physical well being is in danger.  This is a Class E felony.

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Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC


CASE EXAMPLES: In 1995, defendant forced the victim from her home by threatening to kill her. Then he restrained her with an extension cord, gagged her mouth with a sock and placed her in his car. Later he and his co-defendant took the victim to a park in Queens County and duct taped her to a bench after which  they placed her back in the car and drove to a telephone from which they called the victim’s closest relative and demanded a ransom amount which the relative paid and the victim was released.  The Court upheld the conviction of kidnapping in the first and second degree and unlawful imprisonment.  People v. Reyes, 14 Misc.3d 1214(A), 836 N.Y.S.2d 488 (A)

The defendant’s appeal of a conviction custodial interference in the second degree was denied by the Appeals Court.  She took her child to China while fully aware that the legal custody had been given to the father’s sister in New York.  The defendant argued unsuccessfully that the child was in immediate danger of harm, but there was no evidence that this was the case.  She had given up her passport for unsupervised visitation, but got a new one and obtained airline tickets for a flight during her time of visitation. People v. Jing Xiong, 38 A.D.3d 926, 832 N.Y.S.2d 646

It is very apparent from these case examples, that courts will and do convict not just “regular” kidnappers, but also family members of kidnapping and/or custodial interference. The services of a trial experienced defense attorney in New York are needed to help clients obtain a lower penalty for these types of crimes.  These experienced defense attorneys are members of the Law Office of Bukh Law Firm, PLLC and can be reached at (800) 601-0207 any time of day, 7 days a week.

While it is true that courts can be more lenient in cases of parental KIDNAPPING, this is still a serious Federal offense that receives a great deal of attention from the prosecution.  Penalties, even when it is your own child, can include jail time.

If you have been accused or charged in association with a kidnapping you will want a seasoned NYC criminal attorney on your side to help you quickly resolve this matter appropriately and avoid incarceration.

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