North Carolina Kidnapping/Abducting Laws


Kidnapping is the crime of taking a person against their 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 North Carolina law, any person who shall unlawfully confine, restrain, or remove from one place to another, any other person 16 years of age or over without the consent of such person, or any other person under the age of 16 years without the consent of a parent or legal custodian of such person, shall be guilty of kidnapping.  If such confinement, restraint or removal is for the purpose of:

  • Holding such other person for a ransom or as a hostage or using such other person as a shield; or
  • Facilitating the commission of any felony or facilitating flight of any person following the commission of a felony; or
  • Doing serious bodily harm to or terrorizing the person so confined, restrained or removed or any other person; or
  • Holding such other person in involuntary servitude in violation of G.S. 14-43.12.
  • Trafficking another person with the intent that the other person be held in involuntary servitude or sexual servitude in violation of G.S. 14-43.11.
  • Subjecting or maintaining such other person for sexual servitude in violation of G.S. 14-43.13.

There are two degrees of kidnapping.  If the person kidnapped either was not released by the defendant in a safe place or seriously injured or sexually assaulted, the offense is kidnapping in the first degree and is punishable as a Class C felony.  If the person kidnapped was released in a safe place by the defendant and had not been seriously injured or sexually assaulted, the offense is kidnapping in the second degree and is punishable as a Class E felony.

Any firm or corporation convicted of kidnapping shall be punished by a fine of not less than five thousand dollars ($ 5,000) nor more than one hundred thousand dollars ($ 100,000), and its charter and right to do business in the State of North Carolina shall be forfeited[i].

The North Carolina Center for Missing Persons serves as the clearinghouse for information regarding missing children and adults and is charged with issuing Amber Alerts and Silver Alerts.  The Center plays a key role in solving both missing children and missing adult cases by providing police and sheriff’s departments with technical assistance and serving as liaison between states and various governmental agencies. North Carolina is one of the few states with a clearinghouse for missing adults as well as children.

North Carolina Department of Crime and Public Safety

[i] N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-39