Kidnapping California | California PC 207

There are not many crimes that are considered as vile and detrimental to society as kidnapping. California law is very specific on what constitutes kidnapping and explains numerous types of kidnapping that can bring significantly different penalties. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding a kidnapping, the penalties are always extremely severe.

What Constitutes Kidnapping?

The basic definition of kidnapping in California is using fear in order to take, arrest, steal or detain another person and move them to another part of the county, state, country or even world. The law goes on to explain several forms of kidnapping, that include enticing a child under fourteen to go with the accused, enticing a person to come with the accused with the intent of selling them into human slavery, or kidnapping a person with the intent to demand ransom or commit spousal rape.

Another instance of kidnapping is defined as taking an unwilling person during the commission of carjacking. The law even goes on to state that while it may not be considered kidnapping, demanding ransom while pretending to be a kidnapper is also a crime and is punishable by severe penalties itself.

Bail Amounts

Bail schedules are provided in each county and they list a preset bail amount that for which a person may be released by paying. Contact the Bail Hotline office in your county, where an agent can quickly determine the bail required for your release.  The preset bail amounts are going to be very high for this charge, so the 10% fee for posting your bond will be a welcome relief, while securing your freedom will allow you to begin building a proper defense by the assigned court date.

Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties set a defendant’s bail at one million dollars if they kidnap a person to commit a felonious sexual offense. Los Angeles County even sets a one million dollar bail amount for kidnapping a person in relation to a carjacking. The bail amounts will vary from county to county, depending on the circumstances of a kidnapping, but the bail amount will always be extremely high for this charge.

Penalties and Consequences

The penalties related to a kidnapping conviction are especially severe. A person convicted of any type of kidnapping faces at least three to eight years in prison. If a child was under fourteen when they were kidnapped, the convicted faces five to eleven years. Anyone who kidnaps a person and then attempts extortion or asks for ransom is treated even more severely and faces a sentence of life in prison. A person who kidnaps another during a carjacking or with the intent to commit rape, sodomy, spousal rape, robbery or several other serious crimes will also face life imprisonment.

Most of these penalties allow for the possibility of parole, except in cases where a person was held in an environment that caused or could have caused great bodily injury or death. Demanding ransom while pretending to be a kidnapper, even with no involvement in the actual kidnapping, will still bring a penalty of two to four years.

Kidnapping is an especially serious offense in California and the United States in general. The crime can sometimes lead to probation, if the judge has a good reason to allow such a light sentence, but this is not a common practice in any sense of the word. Anyone charged with kidnapping will need an experienced lawyer to ensure that they don’t spend much of the rest of their life behind bars.

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