Being accused of kidnapping is a very serious accusation that can come with life-altering consequences. Like every state, Colorado has specific laws surrounding kidnapping accusations and the types of penalties you could face for this.
There are many situations you could find yourself in where you could be accused of willfully kidnapping someone. The reality is that this is not always the truth since you may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. There may have also been some misunderstanding about what was going on and whether or not consent was given.
If you are facing kidnapping charges in Colorado, you need to hire an attorney to represent your case when you go to court. They have the necessary legal experience and can help you get a fair trial where the truth can come to light.
What Is Considered Kidnapping In Colorado?
Even though the term kidnapping seems straightforward, there are many legal nuances that apply to this. For it to be considered kidnapping, it has to check off certain boxes; otherwise, it could end up being a different kind of charge. Here are some examples of how kidnapping is determined:
- The person knowingly seized and carried another person from one place to another without the person’s consent or any lawful justification.
- The person took or enticed a child away from its guardian with the intent to trade, sell, or barter the child.
- Imprisoning another person or forcing them to move from one place to another by using force, persuasion, or unlawful enticement.
Additionally, there are multiple degrees of Kidnapping. First-degree kidnapping qualifies as either a class 1 or 2 felonies with the potential of up to life in prison, depending on how the kidnapping was committed.
A second-degree kidnapping in Colorado depends on the intent of the actor and can be charged as a class 2, 3, or 4 felony. Depending on the intent, this could come with a sentence of up to 48 years
Potential Defenses Against Kidnapping Charges
Facing kidnapping charges can feel like there is no way out, but there are plenty of defenses you and your attorney can use. This is a detail you should discuss with your attorney to better understand how they plan on representing you and what their strategy is.
Here are some examples of popular defenses that could work in your favor when facing kidnapping charges.
You Were Within Your Legal Rights
One of the most common defenses against kidnapping claims is that you were within your legal rights. For example, if you are in a custody battle with an ex-spouse, you may have taken your child without their consent. In some cases, you do not need your ex-spouse’s consent if you have legal authority to care for your child.
It Was a Case of Mistaken Identity
If a random person has accused you of kidnapping, this could very well be a case of mistaken identity. This is another popular kidnapping defense since it is not impossible for someone to falsely accuse you because you look like the actual kidnapper.
For this defense to work, you will need to be able to prove where you were at the time of the kidnapping or have other evidence that shows that it couldn’t have possibly been you.
It Was a Matter of Safety
One defense your attorney may try is that you had to forcibly move someone for their own safety. An example of this is if a child was unsafe with their parent, so you took them from the parent without their consent. In many ways, this would fall under the category of kidnapping, but there was no criminal intent as you were trying to keep the child safe.
The Victim Agreed to be Moved
Some kidnapping charges are false fabrications that have no real substance since they are based on a lie. The victim may have agreed to be moved or to go somewhere with you but later claimed that they had not given consent. If this is the case, your attorney will argue that the victim did give their consent at the time, which is why it should not fall into the category of kidnapping.
What to Do If You’re Accused of Kidnapping
Now that you understand more about Colorado kidnapping laws, you need to know what to do next. If this is something you have been accused of, you need to act quickly to start building a case in your favor.
Speak to an Attorney
One of the first things you should do after this kind of accusation is to speak to a qualified attorney. They will have the legal knowledge that you lack and the ability to break down the details of what the case involves and how you can defend yourself.
Go Over the Details
When you have hired an attorney, they can help you go over the details of your case to better understand the evidence against you. This is a crucial step when preparing for your case since it can help you get a better idea of the evidence you need to present. The details of the case will also indicate the types of questions you will be asked in court.
The Colorado legal process can feel overwhelming, especially since there is so much legal terminology. Your attorney can help you better understand these terms so you aren’t caught off guard. You should also do a bit of research to better understand the difference between different kinds of kidnapping charges and what this could mean for your case.
Hire an Experienced Attorney at the Law Offices of Clifford Black
As serious as kidnapping accusations are, there are different defenses you can use against these accusations. To do this, you need to hire an attorney who can represent you and help you understand what your options are.
At the Law Offices of Clifton Black, we are dedicated to defending the innocent and protecting the rights of our clients. Contact us today at 719-328-1616 for a free consultation regarding the details of your case.