Kidnapping is a serious offense with varying degrees. Depending on the degree you are charged with, you could face up to life in prison if convicted. If you have been accused of kidnapping, it is vital that you contact a violent crimes lawyer in Polk County as soon as possible.
Attorney for “Kidnapping” Crimes in Des Moines, Iowa
The criminal defense attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. represent clients charged with kidnapping or false imprisonment in Des Moines, Iowa, and the surrounding areas including Polk County, Dallas County, Warren County, Madison County and Guthrie County. If you are charged with the serious criminal offense of kidnapping in Iowa, then call our attorneys to discuss the case and possible defenses. Call (515) 279-9700.
If you are charged with the serious criminal offense of kidnapping in Iowa, then call our attorneys to discuss the case and possible defenses. Call (515) 279-9700.
Information on Kidnapping in Iowa
- Penalties for Kidnapping in Iowa
- Kidnapping in the Third Degree
- Kidnapping In The Second Degree
- Kidnapping in the First Degree
- Definitions in Iowa’s Kidnapping Statute
- Finding an Attorney for Kidnapping Charges
Penalties for Kidnapping in Iowa
Under Iowa Code § 902.9, the statutory maximum punishment and penalties for kidnapping felonies are:
- imprisonment of not more than ten years and a fine of at least one thousand dollars but not more than ten thousand dollars for a class “C” felony;
- not more than 25 years of imprisonment for class “B” felony; and
- life imprisonment for a class “A” felony.
The Iowa legislature enacted new laws in 2016 related to the limitations of criminal actions (statute of limitations) in kidnapping or human trafficking offenses. The Act provides that an information or indictment for kidnapping in the first degree, kidnapping in the second degree, or kidnapping in the third degree committed on or with a person who is under 18 years of age shall be found within 10 years after the person upon whom the kidnapping is committed attains 18 years of age.
Under prior law, the information or indictment for such a kidnapping offense on or with a person who is under 18 years of age had to be found within three years after its commission. The penalties for kidnapping remain the same:
- Kidnapping in the first degree is a class “A” felony;
- Kidnapping in the second degree is a class “B” felony (70 percent sentence); and
- Kidnapping in the third degree is a class “C” felony.
Kidnapping in the Third Degree
The criminal offense of Kidnapping In The Third Degree is contained in Iowa Code section 710.4. One of the best ways to understand this serious criminal offense is to consider the standard jury instruction for Kidnapping in the first degree. That jury instruction is found at 1000.1. The following elements of the offense of kidnapping must be proven at trial beyond all reasonable doubt:
- The defendant confined another person or removed the person from a place;
- The defendant knew he or she did not have the consent or authority of the other person to do so.
- The defendant did so with the specific intent to:
- hold the person for ransom;
- use the person as a shield or hostage;
- inflict serious injury upon the person;
- subject the person to sexual abuse;
- secretly confine the person; or
- interfere with the performance of any government function.
Kidnapping In The Second Degree
Under Iowa Code section 710.3, Kidnapping in the second degree requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the person was held for ransom while the defendant was armed with a dangerous weapon at the time he or she confined or removed the other person. The standard jury instruction for Kidnapping in the second degree is found at 1000.2.
Kidnapping in the First Degree
Under Iowa Code section 710.2, the criminal offense of kidnapping in the first degree has the following additional element that must be proven at trial beyond all reasonable doubt: “As a result of the confinement or removal, the victim suffered a serious injury, was intentionally subjected to torture or was sexually abused.” See State v. Newman, 326 N.W.2d 788 (1982).
Definitions in Iowa’s Kidnapping Statute
The term “kidnapping for ransom is defined as holding “someone for the purpose of obtaining money or other valuable things as the price of release. It makes no difference if the victim is actually released without payment.”
The term “confinement” or “removal” when used with another public offense requires more than what is included in the commission of the crime of the underlying offense.
Iowa law defines the term “confined” to mean that the person’s “freedom to move about is substantially restricted by force, threat or deception. The person may be confined either in the place where the restriction began or in a place to which [he] [she] has been removed.” The law does not require any minimum time of confinement or distance of removal, although it must be more than slight. In other words, the confinement or removal must have significance apart from the underlying offense.
The standard jury instructions provide that when determining whether confinement or removal exists, the jury may consider whether:
- The risk of harm to the person was increased;
- The risk of detection was reduced; or
- Escape was made easier.
The term “torture” means the intentional infliction of severe physical or mental pain. See Iowa Code section 710.2.
The term “intent to secretly confine” means more than restricting the movement of the other person. It means an intent to conceal or hide the person or prevent his or her discovery. See Iowa Code section 710.1(4).
Finding an Attorney for Kidnapping Charges in Polk County
If you are charged with false imprisonment or kidnapping in Des Moines, Iowa, or the surrounding areas, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C..
We represent clients on these serious criminal charges throughout the state including the greater Des Moines-Newton-Pella area including Polk County, Dallas County, Warren County, Madison County and Guthrie County. With offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, call our attorneys to discuss your case today at (515) 279-9700.
With offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, call our attorneys to discuss your case today at (515) 279-9700.