Kidnapping is a terrifying crime, for the victim and their family. Still, while most people think of kidnapping as something that only happens to kids, it is actually a crime that can be perpetrated against anyone.
In Brooklynn Park recently, it was reported that a man smashed the window out of a woman’s car and forced her out at gunpoint before taking her to his own vehicle and leaving the scene. Police located the suspect and halted his vehicle after a multi-city pursuit.
It still remains to be seen how the suspect will be charged, and everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty, but one thing is for certain: Kidnapping in Minnesota is taken very seriously and that is reflected in the law.
Here’s what you need to know about the kidnapping laws in Minnesota and the penalties that can be incurred by anyone who is found guilty of violating those laws.
Kidnapping: What Is It?
In Minnesota, kidnapping is defined as moving someone or confining someone without their consent. It can also apply to minors who are moved without the consent of their legal guardian.
In both cases, it’s kidnapping if it is done in order to:
- harm the victim in any way,
- force them to engage in servitude,
- hold them hostage, or
- use them as a human shield, to extract ransom, or to help in a felony escape.
To qualify as kidnapping, it must be shown in court that there was intent on the part of the defendant to confine them in order to commit additional felonies. In the case mentioned that took place in Brooklynn Park, the defendant may also face additional charges like assault.
Penalties for Kidnapping in Minnesota
Under Minnesota law, if you are found guilty of kidnapping then you can face several penalties. Which penalty you face depends on if the victim is harmed or now.
If the victim is released and they have not sustained great bodily harm, then you could still face up to 20 years in prison and fines of as much as $35,000.
In certain circumstances, you can face far more significant penalties. If the victim was under 16, for instance, or if they suffered great bodily harm during the commission of the crime, or they weren’t released in a safe place.
In each of these circumstances sentencing may reach 40 years in prison and fines can be as much as $50,000.
Crimes Frequently Associated with Kidnapping
If you are found guilty of kidnapping, the state does not have to stop there with charges and possible penalties. It is legal for you to be convicted and punished for other crimes you may have committed while kidnapping a victim.
False imprisonment is one of the most common charges accompanying a kidnapping offense, for example. This involves the actual holding of someone an offender has kidnapped.
Intentional restraint and unreasonable restraint of a child are separate offenses of false imprisonment that can possibly be charged as well. Both of these charges involved minors under 18 and can result in up to three years in prison and fines of as much as $5,000.
If you are facing kidnapping charges in Minnesota, then you need to make sure you understand the charges against you and work to mount the best defense possible.
If you are found guilty, then you can potentially face decades behind bars. Do what you can to ensure that doesn’t happen and that you move forward with your life.
About the Author:
Christopher Keyser is an AV-Preeminent rated criminal and DWI defense attorney based in Minneapolis who is known for fighting aggressively for his clients and utilizing innovative tactics to get the most positive results. He has been featured in numerous media outlets due to the breadth and depth of his knowledge and named a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law by the Minnesota Bar Association. Mr. Keyers is Lead Counsel rated, and he has received recognition for his criminal law work from Avvo, Expertise, Super Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, and more.