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Iowa Kidnapping/Abduction Laws

Iowa laws classify kidnapping into three categories: first degree, second degree and third degree.  According to Iowa Code § 710.1 a person commits kidnapping when the person either confines a person or removes a person from one place to another, without lawful authority and without the consent of the other to do so.  Moreover, the act of kidnapping must be accompanied by one or more of the following:

  • The intent to hold such person for ransom.
  • The intent to use such person as a shield or hostage.
  • The intent to inflict serious injury upon such person, or to subject the person to sexual abuse.
  • The intent to secretly confine such person.
  • The intent to interfere with the performance of any government function.

Kidnapping in the first degree occurs when the person kidnapped, as a consequence of the kidnapping, suffers serious injury, or is intentionally subjected to torture or sexual abuse.

Kidnapping in the second degree occurs when the purpose of kidnapping is to hold the victim for ransom or where the kidnapper is armed with a dangerous weapon. 

All kidnappings other than first degree or second degree are third degree kidnappings. 

In Iowa, kidnapping in the first degree is a class “A” felony.  Kidnapping in the second degree is a class “B” felony.  Kidnapping in the third degree is a class “C” felony.

According to Iowa Code § 902.9, the punishment for kidnapping felonies are life imprisonment for a class “A” felony, not more than 25 years of imprisonment for class “B” felony and imprisonment of not more than ten years and a fine of at least one thousand dollars but not more than ten thousand dollars for a class “C” felony. 

The Iowa Department of Public Safety acts as information portal for the general public.  The department’s Amber Alert Plan establishes the necessary criteria and protocol for the safety of children.

Iowa Department of Public Safety

Inside Iowa Kidnapping/Abduction Laws