Kidnapping is one of the most severely punished offenses under state law. Federal agencies often pursue these charges when the accused crosses state lines, but local authorities are responsible for handling these cases when the defendant remains in Nebraska. If you have been accused of kidnapping, it is crucial that you seek legal guidance from a dedicated defense attorney right away. The sooner you begin preparing your defense, the more likely you are to obtain a positive outcome at trial.
Despite the serious nature of this offense, a conviction is never guaranteed after an arrest. Misunderstandings happen, and police officers make mistakes. A Lincoln kidnapping lawyer can evaluate the allegations against you to determine the strength of the state’s case.
Kidnapping Laws in Lincoln
The offense of kidnapping is governed by Nebraska Statute Section 28-313. To secure a conviction, the prosecution must establish that you abducted another person or continued to restrain that individual following an abduction. However, the act of abduction on its own is not enough for a conviction. The state must also establish criminal intent.
The statute sets out five different elements for establishing intent, and the prosecution needs only to prove one of them. These elements include the intention to:
- Hold a person for ransom
- Use the person as a hostage
- Terrorize that person or a third party
- Commit a felony
- Interfere with a government function
A skilled attorney in the area can help you prove a lack of intent in your kidnapping case. Our legal team can also help you establish that the other person gave you his or her consent. If the other party was not taken against his or her will, a kidnapping did not occur.
Penalties for a Kidnapping Conviction
Although there is only one offense for kidnapping under state law, there are two possible penalty ranges depending on the facts of the case. In both cases, kidnapping is treated as a major felony with the potential for long-term incarceration.
By default, kidnapping is treated as a Class IA felony. This is the second-highest tier of criminal offense under the law. If convicted, a Class IA felony could result in a sentence of life in prison.
There are circumstances that could lead to a reduced penalty for a kidnapping conviction. According to the state, a defendant who voluntarily released or liberated the other party alive, in a safe place, and without serious bodily injuries could receive a reduced sentence.
Under these circumstances, a conviction for kidnapping is treated as a Class II felony. A class II felony can carry as much as 50 years in prison. A seasoned lawyer in Lincoln can help you identify any potential opportunities to reduce your sentencing in the event of a kidnapping conviction.
Let a Lincoln Kidnapping Attorney Guide Your Defense
A conviction for kidnapping could change your life forever. While these accusations can be troubling, it is important to know that kidnapping cases are defensible. Our attorneys at Berry Law are prepared to craft an aggressive defense to put you in the best position to fight your charges.
Before you consider entering a plea, let a Lincoln kidnapping lawyer review your case. Call our firm today to schedule a confidential consultation as soon as possible.