Kidnapping occurs when a person is taken against their will and confined somewhere. Even though the charges and penalties for kidnapping will depend on the jurisdiction that it occurs in, it's treated as a serious crime throughout the United States. Although always a serious crime, many states provide different penalties depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the kidnapping.
In Minnesota, for example, if you're convicted of kidnapping a person who's under the age of 16, you can end up in prison for up to 40 years. Interestingly, if someone takes a person under the age of 18 (without the consent of the minor's parents or legal guardians) for the purpose of marriage, it's classified as an abduction, punishable by imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine of up to $3,000. It's also important to be aware that any other crimes committed during the course of a kidnapping can result in additional charges and penalties.
Minnesota Kidnapping Laws at a Glance
While the actual text of the law is a great source of information, statutory language isn't usually written in a way that's quick to understand. That's why it can help to read a summary of a law as part of your legal research. The following chart provides a summary of kidnapping laws in Minnesota as well as links to relevant statutes.
Minnesota Statutes Chapter 609. Criminal Code, Section 609.25 (Kidnapping)
|Defining the Offense
Kidnapping occurs when someone confines or takes a victim from one place to another without their consent* to:
- Hold them for ransom or reward for release, or as a shield or hostage;
- Facilitate the commission of a felony or flight after;
- Commit great bodily harm or terrorize the victim or another; or
- Hold in involuntary servitude.
*If the victim is under 16 years old, without their parents' or legal custodian's consent.
If the victim is released in a safe place without great bodily harm, kidnapping is punishable by imprisonment for up to 20 years and/or fines up to $35,000. However, it's punishable by up to 40 years of imprisonment and/or fines up to $50,000 if the victim:
- Is under 16 years old;
- Isn't released in a safe place; or
- Suffers great bodily harm during the course of the kidnapping.
Minnesota Statutes Chapter 609. Criminal 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.
Minnesota Kidnapping Laws: Related Resources
For additional information and resources related to this topic, please visit the links listed below.
Facing Kidnapping Charges in Minnesota? Talk to a Lawyer
As you can see from the information above, kidnapping is considered a serious crime in Minnesota, but so many different factors can impact the charges and penalties. If you're charged with kidnapping, or any other crime, it's in your best interest to consult with a local criminal defense attorney who can explain how Minnesota kidnapping laws apply to your case and who can represent your interests in plea negotiations and trial, if necessary.