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Las Vegas Kidnapping Defense Attorney

Last Modified: December 18, 2023

Kidnapping Defense Attorney In Las Vegas, NV

Contrary to popular belief, kidnapping does not refer exclusively to being taken or moved a considerable distance against one’s will. Kidnapping occurs when an individual is detained in any manner and prevented from leaving their current whereabouts – this even includes if the person has been enticed away by deceitful means such as false promises. The law stipulates that this form of abduction can be carried out “by any means whatsoever”, thus including threats or force used for confinement with no intention of returning them back home safely.

A prosecutor can file kidnapping charges against you without needing to specifically prove the method of your crime. It would be sufficient if they could demonstrate that, with intent, you restrained or induced someone into captivity through any means at all.

With such a wide array of actions that can result in kidnapping allegations, you need a Las Vegas kidnapping defense attorney who is well-versed in the definition and experienced with executing proper defense methods. At Spartacus Criminal Defense Lawyers, our criminal defense lawyer specializes in defending those accused of this crime—it could fundamentally transform your life. Contact our office today for a consultation and to learn more about how we can help.

Legal Definition Of Kidnapping In Nevada

In Nevada, kidnapping is addressed by Chapter 200 of Title 15 – Crimes Against the Person. In particular, NRS Sections 200.310 to NRS 200.359 detail a range of offenses that could be classified as kidnappings under this chapter.

According to the legal standards, prosecutors and defendants have different evidence requirements in court. The prosecutor must demonstrate that the alleged kidnapping was done intentionally rather than inadvertently or by mistake. Without demonstrating this intent, however, a defendant can be acquitted as Nevada law specifies that if no purposeful confinement, removal, or concealment of another is established then it cannot be considered kidnap.

Understanding The Degrees Of Kidnapping in Las Vegas

When contending with kidnapping charges in Nevada, the repercussions can be daunting and could include the following:

A kidnapping charge is a felony and carries with it lifelong implications. Those convicted of the crime are often sentenced to lengthy prison terms, or even life in some cases. The exact consequences depend on what state you’re charged in, as well as the degree of your offense under Nevada law. Don’t let this moment define your future – act quickly to seek justice for yourself by seeking experienced legal representation from our Las Vegas kidnapping defense attorney if you’re facing such charges.

When it comes to kidnapping, there are two degrees of severity – first and second degree. The court will take into consideration key elements such as the motivation behind the abduction, its purpose, and further details surrounding any victims involved in order to assess which charges you face.

First-Degree Kidnapping Charges In Nevada

In accordance with Nevada’s Revised Statute 200.310, an individual will be charged with first-degree kidnapping if they willfully seize, confine, inveigle, entice, decoy, abduct or conceal another person for the purpose of:

  • Kill them or inflict bodily harm
  • Commit sexual assault
  • Commit robbery
  • Extort money out of family and relatives for the return of the person

According to Nevada’s Legal System, you are shielded from conviction of both 1st-degree kidnapping and robbery if the victim’s transfer was related to the crime or their danger wasn’t heightened. For this reason, it is essential that you reach out to a Las Vegas kidnapping defense lawyer for an in-depth understanding of your legal choices with respect to a first-degree kidnapping case. Penalties under Category A felony include:

  • 5 years to life imprisonment with eligibility for parole after 5 years.

The consequences associated with a Category A felony are profoundly severe, so it is of the utmost importance to consult an accredited Nevada attorney and explore all potential solutions.

Second-Degree Kidnapping Charges In Nevada

In Nevada, first and second-degree kidnapping shares the same defining criteria. The distinction? First-degree is a Category A felony while second-degree is deemed a Category B felony. Punishment for these two categories differs significantly—which is why it’s critical to communicate with an experienced Las Vegas kidnapping defense attorney who understands how Nevada law governs kidnapping charges. If convicted of a Category B felony offense, you may face:

  • 2-15 years in prison
  • A possible fine of up to $15,000

A criminal defense lawyer can deliver invaluable insights into the extent of potential penalties you may face, taking into account any aggravating or mitigating circumstances associated with your case.

Second degree kidnaping is complete whenever it is shown that a person willfully and without lawful authority seizes another with the intent to keep him secretly imprisoned, or to detain him against his will; the proof of either alternative will support the charge. Stalley v. State, 91 Nev. 671, 541 P.2d 658, 1975 Nev. LEXIS 743 (Nev. 1975).

Child Custody Kidnapping Charges In Nevada

According to Nevada’s NRS 200.359, Child Custody Kidnapping is deemed a Category D Felony and is committed by any parent or custodial guardian who abducts their own offspring. In other words, when someone with legal custody of a minor unlawfully takes that child away from the rightful residential home without proper authorization, they may be charged with this violent crime punishable in court.

Despite being a relative, the abduction of a minor is still considered kidnapping. Even if the child willingly went with their family member, they may face felony charges and possibly imprisonment. The consequences for this Category D Felony are as follows:

  • 1-4 years in prison
  • A possible fine of up to $5,000

A conviction for child custody kidnapping can have a long-lasting impact in family court. If you are fighting for the care of your child and end up with a criminal charge, the family law judge may severely limit visitation time or even strip away future custody rights to your offspring. An experienced Las Vegas kidnapping defense lawyer is essential so that this does not come back to haunt you. The Spartacus Criminal Defense Lawyers could possibly reduce any charges brought against you down to misdemeanors or completely wipe them from existence altogether. Reach out to our office today for a consultation and learn more about how we can help.

Kidnapping With The Use Of A Deadly Weapon In Nevada

For conviction of kidnapping, the court may impose punishments for either first or second-degree charges. However, if a weapon was used while committing the act, it will bring higher penalties. In Clark County specifically, a judge could add up to an additional 20 years in prison when firearms were utilized during a kidnap crime.

It is paramount that you seek legal counsel as soon as possible if you have been charged with kidnapping, particularly if a weapon was used. Probation will rarely be an option for those found guilty of such crimes and the sentence could reach its full length. Do not delay in working to construct your defensive strategy against these charges; time can truly have an impact on their severity.

Sufficient Evidence In Kidnapping Cases

Sufficient evidence supported a kidnapping conviction because the evidence suggested that there was a specific plan for defendant’s accomplice to lure the victim outside of his house for defendant to have a clear shot at him. Brass v. State, 128 Nev. 748, 291 P.3d 145, 128 Nev. Adv. Rep. 68, 2012 Nev. LEXIS 119 (Nev. 2012).

In a robbery case where the evidence established that defendant moved the complainant from the front door to another bedroom where he was taped to a chair and shot, the restraint had an independent significance from the act of robbery; therefore, the evidence was sufficient to support defendant’s conviction for kidnapping. Hover v. State, 132 Nev. 982, 2016 Nev. Unpub. LEXIS 468 (Nev.), cert. denied, 137 S. Ct. 72, 196 L. Ed. 2d 67, 2016 U.S. LEXIS 5812 (U.S. 2016).

Jury could reasonably infer from the evidence presented that defendant committed first-degree kidnapping by forcibly moving the victim against her will to a second location for the purpose of committing sexual assault, battery with intent to commit sexual assault by willfully using force on the victim while intending to commit sexual assault, sexual assault by penetrating the victim’s vagina against her will, and coercion by using force with the intent to compel the victim to enter and remain in the restroom stall. Perez v. State, 132 Nev. 1016, 2016 Nev. LEXIS 530 (Nev. 2016), dismissed, 134 Nev. 995, 412 P.3d 1081, 2018 Nev. Unpub. LEXIS 150 (Nev. 2018), writ denied, 463 P.3d 481, 2020 Nev. App. Unpub. LEXIS 425 (Nev. Ct. App. 2020).

There was sufficient evidence to support a conviction for first-degree kidnapping because the jury could have reasonably inferred that defendant intended to keep a baby from her mother and grandmother when he removed the baby from a car seat or that he intended to unlawfully use the baby as a human shield between himself and police. Anderson v. State, 132 Nev. 939, 2016 Nev. App. Unpub. LEXIS 109 (Nev. Ct. App. 2016).

Evidence was sufficient to support first degree kidnapping indictment where the body of fully clothed three month old infant was found in a river, there were no signs of traumatic injury on the body, the appearance of the body was consistent with drowning, the mother was found 140 yards from where the body was found, and the mother had left the father a note informing him that she and the infant were “leaving this house and this world forever.” Sheriff, Washoe County v. Dhadda, 115 Nev. 175, 980 P.2d 1062, 115 Nev. Adv. Rep. 26, 1999 Nev. LEXIS 37 (Nev. 1999).

Kidnapping And Coercion: Double Jeopardy

Kidnapping included elements of confinement or asportation and the intent to commit sexual assault that were not required to establish coercion; and coercion included elements of force or deprivation and the intent to compel another to act or not act that were not required to establish kidnapping, and as each offense contained an element not contained in the other, double jeopardy did not bar defendant’s convictions for coercion and first-degree kidnapping. Perez v. State, 132 Nev. 1016, 2016 Nev. LEXIS 530 (Nev. 2016), dismissed, 134 Nev. 995, 412 P.3d 1081, 2018 Nev. Unpub. LEXIS 150 (Nev. 2018), writ denied, 463 P.3d 481, 2020 Nev. App. Unpub. LEXIS 425 (Nev. Ct. App. 2020).

Las Vegas Criminal Defense ATTORNEY

Frequently Asked Questions

What Distinguishes Kidnapping from False Imprisonment?

While false imprisonment and kidnapping might sometimes be misconstrued as the same, they are both distinct offenses. These two criminal acts vary significantly in their specifics and implications.

False imprisonment is a heinous act in which another person’s freedom of movement is illegally restrained against their will. The conditions for it to occur must be fulfilled, and the gravity of this crime varies from one state to another. Such circumstances include:

  • The defendant actually confines the victim for a period of time;
  • The victim was aware of the confinement; and
  • The confinement or detention was illegal and willful.

The victim’s perception of being locked up is the most crucial factor. In certain states, false imprisonment can only occur if the person has no other options to escape their confinement. It is also important to remember that a wrongful omission may be enough for someone to file a case of false imprisonment, such as when someone deliberately fails to unlock a door even though they know there’s somebody inside who cannot get out on their own.

False imprisonment occurs when a person is unlawfully held against their will, while kidnapping includes an additional element: transportation or confinement with the intent to do so without consent. False imprisonment can be both a criminal and civil offense; however, there is no corresponding infraction for kidnapping in the civil law arena, meaning that one cannot pursue legal action for damages resulting from such actions.

Is Kidnapping A Felony Or A Misdemeanor?

Kidnapping is a crime in all states – though the classification of felonies might be different. It’s important to note that kidnapping can also be considered a federal infraction, meaning if convicted of this serious felony offense, one may face jail time and hefty fines as punishment. The court may even require restitution from the defendant for any losses experienced by their victims due to these criminal acts.

Those convicted of felonies are often stripped of their right to vote and, in many cases, may be restricted from engaging in legal activities. Depending on the severity of the offense, professionals can lose their license while gun ownership is typically prohibited after a felony conviction.

Is Kidnapping A Federal Criminal Charge?

The Federal Kidnapping Act, also known as the Lindbergh Law, emphatically prohibits transporting a kidnapping victim across state lines. Should an individual commit this offense and be convicted of it, they are liable to serve up to twenty years in prison.

According to the Federal Kidnapping Act, more severe penalties are enforced when the kidnapper is an adult and not a family member or legal guardian of their victim who is under 18. In such cases, there should be no exception – a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 20 years shall be imposed for any abduction offense committed.

What Are The Defenses Of Kidnapping Charges?

In Nevada, three effective defenses when facing kidnapping charges include:

  1. The adult “victim” gave consent.
  2. The defendant lacked intent.
  3. The defendant was falsely accused.

It is important to remember that it does not need to be proven that the victim was physically moved (called asportation) in order for a conviction of first-degree kidnapping. If the alleged perpetrator merely confined or restrained the victim, this could constitute 1st-degree kidnapping. Moreover, even if the act occurred outside Nevada territory, any county within Nevada has jurisdiction over such cases if evidence suggests transport through or detainment within its state boundaries took place.

First-degree kidnapping convictions could not stand, because there was no clear statement of intent by the legislature to treat a violation of NRS 201.540 as a crime against the minor’s person for purposes of this provision, when it was the offender’s status that was the gravamen of the offense outlined in NRS 201.540, and it was the offender’s status that made the sexual conduct unlawful; given that NRS 201.540 was predominately concerned with the appearance of impropriety rather than actual impropriety, its focus was on decency and morals rather than harm to a particular individual. Lofthouse v. State, 467 P.3d 609, 136 Nev. Adv. Rep. 44, 2020 Nev. LEXIS 43 (Nev. 2020).

Can Kidnapping Charges Be Sealed?

In Nevada, the only way to seal a kidnapping charge involving a child is if the defendant was their parent or guardian. However, for first-degree kidnapping convictions, records can be sealed 10 years after the case has ended and five years after ending for second-degree kidnappings. Fortunately, should any charges of this nature get dismissed then an immediate petition for record sealing may be filed.

Contact Our Las Vegas Kidnapping Defense Attorney Today

If you have been charged with a kidnapping case, the consequences can be severe. You could potentially have your charges dismissed or reduced in a plea bargain agreement without going to trial. Let our experienced Las Vegas kidnapping defense attorney fight for justice and help you achieve the best possible outcome. No matter the situation, The Spartacus Criminal Defense Lawyers will make sure to explore all available avenues for your defense.

We will painstakingly inspect any potential violations of your rights by law enforcement officers – such as an unlawful search which could lead to exclusionary evidence – cross-examine witnesses and evaluate the strength of proof presented against you, in addition to introducing mitigating components that can potentially reduce a sentence. In this instance it is best not to settle with just another public defender lacking dedication and experience. Contact our office today for a consultation and to learn more about how we can defend you against these serious charges.

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