Delaware Kidnapping/Abduction Laws

In Delaware, kidnapping is classified into two categories: first degree kidnapping and second degree kidnapping.  According to 11 Del. C. § 783, a person is guilty of kidnapping in the second degree when the person unlawfully restrains another person with any of the following purposes:

  • To hold the victim for ransom or reward; or
  • To use the victim as a shield or hostage; or
  • To facilitate the commission of any felony or flight thereafter; or
  • To inflict physical injury upon the victim, or to violate or abuse the victim sexually; or
  • To terrorize the victim or a third person; or
  • To take or entice any child less than 18 years of age from the custody of the child’s parent, guardian or lawful custodian;    and the actor voluntarily releases the victim alive, unharmed and in a safe place prior to trial.

Kidnapping in the second degree is a class C felony.

According to 11 Del. C. § 783A a person is guilty of kidnapping in the first degree when the person unlawfully restrains another person with any of the purposes mentioned above and does not voluntarily release the victim alive, unharmed and in a safe place prior to trial.

Kidnapping in the first degree is a class B felony.

The elements of kidnapping are the defendant unlawfully restrained the victim for any of the following purposes: (1) to facilitate the commission of any felony; (2) to inflict physical injury upon the victim, or to violate or abuse sexually; or (3) to terroize the victim.[1]
According to 11 Del. C. § 4205, a class B felony is punishable with imprisonment for not less than two years up to 25 years to be served at Level V.  A class C felony is punishable with imprisonment up to 15 years to be served at Level V.

Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security (DSHS) works to promote and protect the safety of people and property in Delaware. 

Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security

 


[1] Cruz v. State, 1993 Del. LEXIS 240, 10-11 (Del. 1993)


Inside Delaware Kidnapping/Abduction Laws