Kidnapping in San Diego is part of the large amount of cases a criminal defense attorney encounters. Although kidnapping has the word kid in it, it actually does not have to have any kids involved in it whatsoever. It is actually just the moving of a body without consent. Looking at an example will help to better understand. If someone was at a friend’s house and they wanted to take the other person somewhere but the other person did not want to go, they may resort to using force. Lets say the person ties up the other person so they cannot move. At this point the kidnapping has not occurred. Potentially only a battery, assault and a false imprisonment charge could be charged. Next the person takes the body and drags it to the trunk of their car, puts it in the car and drives to wherever they wanted to go. Once the body has moved a distance that is more than a slight distance, the kidnapping has occurred. A kidnapping crime is a serious strike offense, if charged with this offense make sure to call a kidnapping defense lawyer in San Diego immediately.
Elements of Kidnapping Crimes
• The Defendant unlawfully moved another person by use of force or any other means of instilling fear.
Here, unlawfully would mean without consent. If someone moved another person without their consent, they would be doing it unlawfully. At this point that could be a battery or a false imprisonment charge. The addition here is that it would have to be by force or by means instilling fear. Some examples for means instilling fear could be a gun, a knife, or just threats of physical violence. Whereas moving someone by force just means that you are the one that is physically moving or guiding him or her in the direction that you chose.
• The defendant moved the victim for a substantial distance. A distance that is more than trivial or slight.
With this element they are trying to weed out the situations where someone may have grabbed someone for a split second, pushed them, and then walked away. The crime of kidnapping intends to charge people who held someone against their will and make them travel a distance with them. The most common situations where kidnapping comes up is in battery or assault cases or rape cases. These are the types or cases where someone is often kidnapped against their will and transported before another crime occurs.
Defenses to Kidnapping crimes in San Diego
• Mistaken Identity
A common defense to a kidnapping charge is mistaken identity. Often times, the kidnapper will be covering their face or wearing a mask so that the victim cannot see them. Later, someone could be arrested who was in the area at that time or has a prior conviction for any type of violent crime. Eyewitness testimony is actually proven to be one of the most unreliable types of testimony there is. There have been multiple studies conducted that show that often times although people believe they have a visual memory of the event; their visual memory is often inaccurate. This can be shown by having a skilled criminal defense attorney use cutting-edge cross examination techniques in order to attack the memory of the alleged victim.
Consent is another common defense to a kidnapping charge. Sometimes the stories that the alleged victim tells are just not true. Often times in sex crime related cases there will be two people that hook up but one of them at the end has a situation where they regret what they did. After that they will sometimes call the police and claim sexual assault. In this type of situation the consent to go somewhere with another person is generally not by force or by threat, it was willingly. If that happens with consent of both parties, then this cannot be seen as a kidnapping.
Call a Kidnapping Defense Lawyer for a Free Consultation
At Ozols Law Firm, we specialize in kidnapping and all types of violent crime allegations. A crime like this is serious and it is what is called a “strike” offense. If you have been charged with kidnapping there are likely other charges you are facing as well and you should talk to someone about all possible defenses. If you need help call Ozols Law Firm at 619 288 8357.