State Kidnapping/Abduction Laws


In most states, kidnapping statutes provide that any unlawful detention or physical movement of a child, other than that performed by a parent or guardian, constitutes kidnapping.   Various state statutes recognize different types and levels of kidnapping depending on the duration and purpose of kidnapping  and punishment for the offence also varies accordingly.

While most states consider moving the victim a few feet  as an offense of kidnapping distance is not a factor in some other states. For instance in New York,  purpose of kidnapping is the decisive factor and not distance. People v. Levy, 15 N.Y.2d 159 (N.Y. 1965)

In Ohio, according to Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2905.01, kidnapping is defined in part as restraining the liberty of another person. This creates an increased risk of double jeopardy in kidnapping convictions because, by definition, every robbery, rape, or assault would constitute kidnapping and to overcome this, the state of Ohio state has  enacted a statute that prohibits multiple convictions for the same conduct unless the defendant exhibits a separate intent.  However, in Wisconsin courts uphold a a separate conviction for kidnapping. State v. Wagner, 191 Wis. 2d 322 (Wis. Ct. App. 1995)


State Kidnapping/Abduction Laws: Related Pages