New Hampshire Kidnapping/Abducting Laws


Kidnapping is the crime of taking a person against his or her will to an undisclosed location.  This may be done for ransom or in furtherance of another crime, or in connection with a child custody dispute.

According to the laws of New Hampshire, a person is guilty of kidnapping if s/he knowingly confines another under his or her control with a purpose to:

  • Hold him or her for ransom or as a hostage; or
  • Avoid apprehension by a law enforcement official; or
  • Terrorize him or her or some other person; or
  • Commit an offense against him.

A person is guilty of kidnapping if the person knowingly takes, entices away, detains, or conceals any child under the age of 18 with an intent to detain or conceal such child from a parent, guardian, or other person having lawful physical custody of such child.  However, this does not apply to law enforcement personnel or department of health and human services personnel engaged in the conduct of their lawful duties.

Kidnapping is a class A felony unless the actor voluntarily releases the victim without serious bodily injury and in a safe place prior to trial, in which case it is a class B felony[i].

The Department of Safety(DOS) was established by the New Hampshire Legislature in 1961 and provides for the protection of the lives and safety and preservation of the quality of life of New Hampshire citizens and visitors to the state on the highways, on the waterways, and in their homes and businesses.  DOS enforce motor vehicle and highway safety laws, criminal laws, commercial vehicle regulations, fire safety, building and equipment safety laws and regulations, and boating safety laws and rules.  They also provide enhanced 911 emergency communications statewide, and are responsible for homeland safety and emergency management activities.

Department of Safety – New Hampshire

[i] RSA 633:1