What are the Arizona Kidnapping Laws?
As a criminal defense attorney in Phoenix Arizona, Todd Coolidge has handled cases as small as traffic offenses and petty theft, to much more severe cases that involved kidnapping. Well versed in all criminal law, with over 25 years of experience, he is an expert in Arizona kidnapping laws. In this post, we’ll take a look at how Arizona defines and punishes kidnapping.
How is kidnapping defined in Arizona?
Pursuant to ARS 13-1304, a person commits kidnapping by knowingly restraining another person with the intent to:
- Hold the victim for ransom, as a shield, or hostage
- Hold the victim for involuntary servitude
- Inflict death, physical injury, or a sexual offense on the victim, or to otherwise aid in the commission of a felony
- Place the victim or a third person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury to the victim or the third person
- Interfere with the performance of a governmental or political function
- Seize or exercise control over any airplane, train, bus, ship, or other vehicle.
As you can see, the definition is fairly broad but must include one important factor: the individual executing the kidnapping must do so knowingly.
What is the punishment for kidnapping in Arizona?
Kidnapping in Arizona is considered a class 2 felony with two exceptions. (1) If the victim is released unharmed and voluntarily by the kidnapper before any further crimes are committed, the charge is dropped to a class 4 felony. (2) If the victim is released unharmed under an agreement with the state (hostage negotiation), the crime is a class 3 felony. If the victim is under 15 years of age, the crime is considered a dangerous crime against a child, pursuant to ARS 13-705, and is a class 2 felony regardless of other conditions.
Other Arizona crimes that involve kidnapping
- ARS §13-1307 (Sex Trafficking)
- ARS §13-1303 (Unlawful Imprisonment)
- ARS §13-1305 (Access Interference)
- ARS §13-1308 (Trafficking of Persons for Forced Labor)
In our next Coolidge Law Firm blog post we will discuss another common form of kidnapping: parental kidnapping in Arizona. If you’ve been charged with kidnapping in Arizona and believe you are innocent, there are several defense options for your case: consent to be moved or accompany the defendant, lack of intent, and mistake. It’s crucial to select an attorney who has practical experience in dealing with Arizona kidnapping laws. Contact Arizona criminal defense lawyer Todd Coolidge today for your free consultation.