Alabama laws classify kidnapping into two categories: first degree and second degree. According to Alabama law, Code of Ala. § 13A-6-43, a person commits the crime of kidnapping in the first degree if s/he abducts another person with intent to:
- Hold him/her for ransom or reward; or
- Use him/her as a shield or hostage; or
- Accomplish or aid the commission of any felony or flight therefrom; or
- Inflict physical injury upon him/her, or to violate or abuse him/her sexually; or
- Terrorize him/her or a third person; or
- Interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function.
A person does not commit the crime of kidnapping in the first degree if s/he voluntarily releases the victim alive, and not suffering from serious physical injury, in a safe place prior to apprehension. The burden of raising the issue of voluntary safe release is on the defendant. However, this does not shift the burden of proof.
A person commits the crime of kidnapping in the second degree in Alabama if s/he abducts another person. However, a person does not commit a crime under this section if:
- The abduction is not coupled with intent to use or to threaten to use deadly force,
- The actor is a relative of the person abducted, and
- The actor’s sole purpose is to assume lawful control of that person.
The burden of raising the issue of defense is on the defendant. However, this does not shift the burden of proof.
The dominating element of the offense of kidnapping is the intent with which the acts enumerated in the statutes are committed.[i]
In Alabama, kidnapping in the first degree is a Class A felony. Kidnapping in the second degree is a Class B felony. According to Alabama law, Code of Ala. § 13A-5-11, a sentence to pay a fine for a felony shall be for a definite amount, fixed by the court of not more than $60,000 for a Class A felony, and not more than $30,000 for a Class B felony. According to Code of Ala. § 13A-5-6, sentences for felonies shall be for a definite term of imprisonment, for life or not more than 99 years or less than 10 years for a Class A felony, and not more than 20 years or less than 2 years for a Class B felony.
The Alabama Department of Public Safety Community Information Center acts as an information portal for the general public. It provides information to the public about missing adults and children.
[i] Doss v. State, 220 Ala. 30, 32 (Ala. 1929)