In Louisiana, kidnapping is classified in to three categories: aggravated kidnapping, second degree kidnapping and simple kidnapping. According to La. R.S. 14:44, a person commits the offense of aggravated kidnapping when s/he with the intent to force the victim or any other person to give up something of value to grant any advantage or immunity, in order to secure the victim’s release:
- forcibly seizes and carries any person from one place to another; or
- entices or persuades any person to go from one place to another; or
- imprisons or forcibly secrets any person.
According to La. R.S. 14:44.1 second degree kidnapping occurs when the victim is
- Used as a shield or hostage;
- Used to facilitate the commission of a felony or the flight after an attempt to commit or the commission of a felony;
- Physically injured or sexually abused;
- Imprisoned or kidnapped for 72 or more hours; or
- Imprisoned or kidnapped when the offender is armed with a dangerous weapon or leads the victim to reasonably believe he is armed with a dangerous weapon.
According to La. R.S. 14:44.2 a person is guilty of aggravated kidnapping of a child if s/he without lawful authority takes, entices, or decoys away and removes a child under 13 years from a location for an unlawful purpose with the intent to secret the child from his or her parent or legal guardian.
According to La. R.S. 14:45 simple kidnapping is:
- The intentional and forcible seizing and carrying of any person from one place to another without his or her consent.
- The intentional taking, enticing or decoying away, for an unlawful purpose, of any child not his own and under the age of 14 years, without the consent of its parent or the person charged with its custody.
- The intentional taking, enticing or decoying away, without the consent of the proper authority, of any person who has been lawfully committed to any orphan, insane, feeble-minded or other similar institution.
- The intentional taking, enticing or decoying away and removing from the state, by any parent of his or her child, from the custody of any person to whom custody has been awarded by any court of competent jurisdiction of any state or from the custody of any court of competent jurisdiction, with intent to defeat the jurisdiction of the said court over the custody of the child.
The critical distinction between the crime of aggravated kidnapping and the crime of simple kidnapping is the kidnapper’s intent to extort, and determined that the four elements constituting aggravated kidnapping are:
- the forcible seizing and;
- the carrying of any person from one place to another;
- with the intent to force the victim, or some other person, to give up anything of apparent present or prospective value;
- in order to secure the release of that person.[i]
The crime of second degree kidnapping shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than five years and not more than 40 years. At least two years of the sentence imposed shall be without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. The crime of aggravated kidnapping of a child shall be punished by life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. The crime of simple kidnapping shall be fined not more than $5,000/- and imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than five years, or both.
Louisiana Department of Public Safety provides safety services to both the citizens of the state and visitors to the state of Louisiana by upholding and enforcing the laws, administering regulatory programs, managing records, educating the public and managing emergencies.
[i] State v. Lagrange, 702 So. 2d 1005, 1009 (La.App. 3 Cir. Oct. 29, 1997)