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Georgia Kidnapping Laws

The general definition of kidnapping is taking a person against his or her will and confining that person to a controlled space. While each state has its own definition of kidnapping, it's generally classified as a felony regardless of the jurisdiction. In Georgia, kidnapping is defined as abducting a person without lawful authority and holding that person against his or her will. Kidnapping is a serious crime under Georgia's laws, and will result in imprisonment. The possible prison term will depend on various circumstances, such as if a ransom was demanded or if the victim was under 14 years of age.

Georgia Kidnapping Laws Overview

Below you will find key provisions of kidnapping laws in Georgia.


Georgia Code Section 16-5-40 (Kidnapping)

Defining the Offense

In order to be charged under this statute, there must be slight movement. However, if the movement occurs while committing a different offense and is incidental, it's not kidnapping. Movement isn't incidental to another offense if it:

  • Isolates/conceals the victim;
  • Makes committing the offense substantially easier;
  • Lessens the risk of detection; ?or
  • Is done in order to avoid apprehension.

The penalties for conviction under Georgia's kidnapping laws will depend on various factors:

  • If the victim was 14 years of age or older: prison term for at least 10 years and not exceeding 20 years.
  • If the victim was younger than 14 years of age: prison term for life, or a split sentence that is a term of imprisonment for at least 25 years and not more than life imprisonment, followed by probation for life.
  • If a ransom was demanded: life in prison or death.
  • If the victim received bodily injury: life in prison or death.

Any person convicted under this statute will also be subject to sentencing and punishment provided by sections 17-10-6.1 and 17-10-7 of the Georgia Code.

Related Statute(s)

Georgia Code Sections

  • 16-5-41 (False Imprisonment)
  • 16-5-42 (False Imprisonment under Color of Legal Process)
  • 16-5-43 (Malicious Confinement of Sane Person in an Asylum)
  • 16-5-44 (Hijacking an Aircraft)
  • 16-5-44.1 (Hijacking a Motor Vehicle)
  • 16-5-45 (Interference with Custody)
  • 16-5-46 (Trafficking of Persons for Labor or Sexual Servitude)
  • 16-5-47 (Posting Model Notice with Human Trafficking Hotline Information in Businesses and on Internet)

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Georgia Kidnapping Laws: Related Resources

If you'd like more information related to this topic, you can click on the links below:

Get Legal Help with Your Kidnapping Case in Georgia

Kidnapping is a serious crime in Georgia and a conviction can lead to serving time in prison, or further punishment depending on the facts. If you've been charged with kidnapping under Georgia's laws, it's best to contact a local criminal defense attorney to discuss the facts of your case and to prepare the best defense.

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