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Queens NY Kidnapping Attorney

Kidnapping

Studies conducted by the US Department of Justice indicate that there are distinct motives for kidnapping. 49 percent of kidnappings are "family kidnappings," 27 percent are "acquaintance kidnappings," and 24 percent are "stranger kidnappings."

Given the rise in kidnapping rates, prosecutors and law enforcement officers take the crime seriously. An accusation of kidnapping should therefore be taken seriously and approached delicately, with the aid of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Queens Kidnapping Defense Attorney

Rochelle S. Berliner is an experienced criminal defense attorney with nearly 20 years of experience working in the criminal justice system, including time spent as a prosecutor. She confidently represents clients charged with even the most serious criminal offenses under New York law, including kidnapping. The Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner represents clients charged with kidnapping throughout the greater New York City area, including Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Although looking for information about this serious charge is an important first step, it is no substitute for a consultation with a New York defense attorney. Only by talking with an experienced criminal defense attorney can you obtain legal advice about how to protect your rights against false accusations. Call 718-261-5600 or send an online message today for a free, confidential consultation with an experienced New York kidnapping defense attorney.


New York City Kidnapping Information Center


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Kidnapping in the Second Degree under New York Penal Law

Under the kidnapping laws provided in New York Penal Law Section 135.20, a defendant can be charged with Kidnapping in the Second Degree, B felony when the defendant is accused of abducting another person.

In order to prove the crime of kidnapping, the prosecutor is required to prove beyond all reasonable doubt, the following five elements:

  • The defendant committed the act;
  • the defendant restricted the alleged victim's movements in such manner as to interfere substantially with his/her liberty by:
    • moving him/her from one place to another; or
    • by confining him/her either in the place where the restriction commenced; or
    • in a place to which he/she had been moved; and
  • That the defendant did so without consent of the alleged victim; and
  • That the defendant did so intentionally.

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Kidnapping in the First Degree under New York Penal Law

New York Penal Law, Section 135.25(1) states that a person can be charged with Kidnapping in the First Degree (an A-1 Felony) when he or she is accused of abducting another person and when his or her intent is to:

  • compel a third person to pay or deliver money or property as ransom; or
  • to engage in (other) particular conduct; or
  • to refrain from engaging in particular conduct.

In order to convict a person of this form of kidnapping, the prosecutor must prove beyond all reasonable doubt, the following elements:

  • That the defendant restricted the alleged victim's movements in such manner as to:
    • interfere substantially with his/her liberty by moving him/her from one place to another; or
    • by confining him/her either in the place where the restriction commenced; or
    • in a place to which he/she had been moved;
  • That the defendant did so without consent of the alleged victim;
  • That the defendant did so intentionally;
  • That the restriction of the alleged victim's movements was unlawful; and
  • That the defendant knew that the restriction was unlawful;
  • That the defendant restrained the alleged victim with intent to prevent the alleged victim's liberation either by:
    • secreting or holding him/her in a place where he/she was not likely to be found; or
    • by using or threatening to use deadly physical force; and
  • That the defendant abducted with intent to compel a third person to:
    • pay or deliver money or property as ransom; or
    • to engage in (other) particular conduct; or
    • to refrain from engaging in particular conduct.

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Kidnapping Held for more than 12 Hours; Physical Injury or Abuse Sexually in New York

Under New York's kidnapping laws, a person can be charged with Kidnapping in the First Degree (an A-I Felony) when he or she abducts another person and when he or she restrains the person abducted for a period of more than twelve hours with intent to inflict physical injury upon that person or to violate or abuse that person sexually.

At trial, the prosecutor for the State of New York would be required to prove the following elements beyond all reasonable doubt:

  • That the defendant restricted the alleged victim's movements in such manner as to:
    • interfere substantially with his/her liberty by moving him/her from one place to another; or
    • by confining him/her either in the place where the restriction commenced or in a place to which he/she had been moved;
  • That the defendant did so without consent of the alleged victim;
  • That the defendant did so intentionally;
  • That the restriction of alleged victim's movements was unlawful; and
  • The defendant knew that the restriction was unlawful;
  • That the defendant restrained the alleged victim with intent to prevent the alleged victim's liberation either by:
    • secreting or holding him/her in a place where he/she was not likely to be found; or
    • by using or threatening to use deadly physical force;
  • That the defendant restrained the alleged victim for a period of more than twelve hours with intent to inflict physical injury upon the alleged victim or violate or abuse the alleged victim sexually.

Other kidnapping statutes provide for additional penalties and punishments if the act of kidnapping lasts for more than 12 hours and does one of the following:

  • Advance a felony (New York Penal Law 135.25(2)(b));
  • Terrorize a person (New York Penal Law 135.25(2)(c)); or
  • Interfere with government (New York Penal Code 135.25(2)(d)).

Under New York Penal Law, Section 135.25(3), the most serious penalties and punishments are reserved for kidnapping cases in which the victim dies. Additionally, there may be other penalties for kidnappers who move their victims across state lines.


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Kidnapping Terms and Definitions under New York Law

New York law defines the term "abduct" to mean to restrain a person with intent to prevent that person's liberation, either by secreting or holding him or her in a place where he or she is not likely to be found, or by using or threatening to use deadly physical force.

Restrain means to restrict a person's movements intentionally and unlawfully in such manner as to interfere substantially with his or her liberty by moving him or her from one place to another, or by confining him or her either in the place where the restriction commences or in a place to which he or she has been moved, without consent and with knowledge that the restriction is unlawful.

  • A person restricts another's movements intentionally when his or her conscious objective or purpose is to restrict that person's movements.
  • A person restricts another's movements unlawfully when he or she is not authorized by law to do so.

Under New York's laws concerning kidnapping, the term "intent" means conscious objective or purpose. The standard jury instructions explain that a person acts with intent to prevent another’s liberation either by secreting or holding him or her in a place where he or she is not likely to be found, or by using or threatening to use deadly physical force, when that person’s conscious objective or purpose is to do so.

In the State of New York, the term "deadly physical force" means physical force which, under the circumstances in which it is used, is readily capable of causing death or other serious physical injury.

In the State of New York, the term "serious physical injury" means impairment of a person's physical condition which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes death or serious and protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of health, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ.


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Affirmative Defenses to Kidnapping under New York Law

Under the laws of the State of New York, it may be an affirmative defense to the charge of kidnapping that the defendant was a relative of the person abducted, and the defendant's sole purpose was to assume control of such person. The term "relative" includes a parent, a brother, a sister, an uncle or an aunt. The person accused of the crime of kidnapping has the burden of proving an affirmative defense by a preponderance of the evidence.


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Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner | Kidnapping Arrest Lawyer in New York City

Experienced Queens criminal defense attorney Rochelle Berliner represents clients charged with kidnapping throughout the greater New York City area, including Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan. Contact Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner today to discuss the criminal charges pending against you and possible defenses against these alleged assault and violent crimes.

Call 718-261-5600 or submit an online form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

Free Consultation

Submit your information using this form to schedule a free consultation with attorney Rochelle Berliner.

Name* Phone* Email* Subject* Message*

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