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Michigan Kidnapping Laws

The basic definition of kidnapping is when a person moves another person against his or her will. Kidnapping is one of the more serious crimes that a person can commit in most jurisdictions. Michigan is one of those jurisdictions. Not only does it classify kidnapping as a felony, but the maximum sentence for kidnapping is life in prison. In order be convicted under Michigan kidnapping laws, a person must knowingly restrain a person and have the intent to do an act that is outlined in the language of the statute.

Michigan Kidnapping Laws Overview

Below you'll find key provisions of kidnapping laws in Michigan.


Michigan Penal Code, Section 750.349

What's Prohibited?

It's prohibited for an individual to knowingly restrain* another person with intent to do one or more of the following:

  • Hold that person for ransom or reward.
  • Use that person as a hostage or shield.
  • Take that person outside of this state.
  • Hold that person in involuntary servitude.
  • Engage in criminal sexual contact or penetration prohibited under chapter LXXVI of the Michigan Penal Code.
  • If that person is a minor, engage in child sexually abusive activity. 145c

*For purposes of this statute, restrain is defined as restricting a person's movements or confining them in a way that interferes with his or her liberty without the legal authority to do so or the person's consent. There's no set length of time for it to be considered restraint, and it's a violation of this statute even if the restraint is related or incidental to the commission of a separate criminal act.

Charges and Penalties

Kidnapping is a felony punishable by a prison term up to and including life and/or a fine not exceeding $50,000. A person can additionally be charged with and convicted for any other violations of the law that may occur while committing a kidnapping.

Related Statute(s)

Michigan Penal Code

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.

Michigan Auto Theft Laws: Related Resources

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Arrested for Kidnapping in Michigan? Get in Touch with a Lawyer

Kidnapping is a serious offense in virtually all states, and Michigan is no exception. In fact, conviction under Michigan kidnapping laws carries the possibility of life in prison. Considering the possible penalties as well as your possible defenses, it's in your best interest to contact a local criminal defense attorney if you've been arrested for or charged with kidnapping in Michigan.

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