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Kidnapping is covered under California Penal Code 207. Under California law, kidnapping is defined as the taking away or transportation of a person for any distance against that person’s will, usually to hold the person in false imprisonment, a confinement without legal authority. This may be done for ransom or in furtherance of another crime, or in connection with a child custody dispute.

Usually kidnapping involves some use of force or threatening to harm by the perpetrator. It could also occur when the victim is unconscious or when the victim is deceived or defrauded and unlawfully forced to move from one location to another.


Pursuant to California PC 209, aggravated kidnapping involves the use of violence or taking of a child victim, or when the victim is injured or ransom is demanded.

Aggravated kidnapping could also occur if the initial crime intended was carjacking per California Penal Code 215 and then the perpetrator decides to take the driver or a passenger and carries them for any distance, however short it may be.


Under PC 207, Kidnapping is a felony and carries a minimum of 3 and a maximum term of 8 years in state prison. Kidnapping is a strike under California law and it is both a serious and a violent felony for the purposes of California Three Strike Law.

Aggravated kidnapping may be punished by a sentence of life in prison, and in some cases, without the possibility of parole.


Child abductions are a form of kidnapping which arise after separation or divorce when one parent wishes to keep a child against the will of the other or against a court order. In these cases, some jurisdictions do not consider it kidnapping if the child, being competent, agrees to be taken away. In modern usage, kidnapping or abduction of a child is often called child stealing and parental kidnapping, particularly when done not to collect a ransom but rather with the intention of keeping the child permanently. Child abduction can refer to children being taken away without their parents’ consent but with the consent of the child. Child abduction is the abduction or kidnapping of a child (or baby) by an older person.


Although prosecutors are sometimes quick in filing kidnapping charges, many of these cases appear to have no legal or factual basis. Therefore, a seasoned criminal defense attorney can successfully defend and dismiss kidnapping charges or have them reduced to less serious charges such as California Penal Code 236 commonly known as false imprisonment which carries only a maximum of 3 years in state prison.

If the defendant is charged with kidnapping for taking a child, your lawyer may be able to change the charge to child abduction per California Penal Code 278. Although child abduction is also a serious crime, it does not carry life sentence and the maximum penalty for it is four years in county jail.

Other defenses are when the movement of the alleged victim was out of necessity, or done to protect a child victim from imminent danger, or based on actual or implied consent by the victim or the victim’s parent or guardian. Also, if the defendant was simply aware of the kidnapping and did not take an active role in the perpetration of the crime, there may not be sufficient evidence to convict. So if you believe that you have been falsely accused of kidnapping and there is simply no evidence against you, it is best to quickly consult with an experienced lawyer.

Criminal prosecution can affect your health, freedom, employment, and social life. You need help and you need the best criminal defense you can get. At the Law Offices of Tony M. Seyfi, with the state-of-the-art computerized legal research tools and forensic techniques, we will focus on identifying the defenses you may have and will develop numerous challenges to any crime possible.

Our goal is victory for our clients and to keep them from going to jail, and we are confident of our defense strategies. If you would like to discuss your case, call us today for a FREE CONSULTATION and case analysis.

CALL NOW 213-252-1000

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