One of the most serious felony criminal charges in Maryland is kidnapping. With a maximum punishment of 30 years in prison, facing a kidnapping charge requires an aggressive, experienced Maryland defense attorney. The defenses available in your case will largely depend on the facts of the case. It is critical to talk to a Maryland kidnapping defense attorney to analyze the defenses in your specific case. We are available to review your situation and ready to start planning your defense.
If you or a loved one was charged with kidnapping in Maryland, you should immediately retain the services of an experienced Maryland kidnapping defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free case consultation.
Definition of Kidnapping in Maryland
Kidnapping under the Maryland Criminal Code is defined as carrying another individual by force or fraud with the intent to conceal them. Maryland classifies kidnapping as a felony, and a convicted offender is subject to up to 30 years in prison.
Maryland law also has a separate child kidnapping statute. It is illegal to take a child under 12 years old away from the custody of their legal guardian by enticement, fraud, or force. The law also prohibits an individual from sheltering an abducted child.
If you are facing kidnapping charges, it is essential to understand the elements the prosecution has to prove to get a conviction. In Maryland, three elements must be proven to convict someone for the crime of kidnapping:
Restraining a Person’s Freedom
The prosecution must establish that you deprived the victim of their ability to leave. For example, the state could allege that locked a person in the trunk of a car or tied them up and concealed them in a shed.
Holding a Person Involuntarily
Kidnapping requires force or fraud when restraining someone. The prosecution must prove that the victim was held against their will. For example, the victim must have been physically forced or coerced into the trunk of a car.
Transporting the Person to Another Place
Finally, the prosecution must prove that the victim was moved or carried from one location to another. This location can be either in Maryland or outside the state. For example, once the victim was restrained in the trunk, this element would be met if they were driven to a remote house and concealed in the basement.
Defenses to Maryland Kidnapping Charges
Charges of kidnapping are very serious, and you should contact our skilled Maryland kidnapping defense lawyer for help. Our experienced kidnapping attorney will prepare your case, work to uncover evidence to support your defense, review police reports, evaluate witness statements, and work to negotiate reduced charges.
Being charged with kidnapping does not mean you will always be convicted. Errors occur, and the prosecution might not be able to prove all of the necessary elements of your kidnapping charges. Some defenses that we might be able to present on your behalf could get charges dismissed:
- You may not have been aware of the presence of the victim. For example, driving a car with a person restrained in the trunk without knowing they are there is not considered kidnapping.
- You may have had the permission of the victim to transport or restrain them as part of a party or prank.
- You may have been threatened or coerced into kidnapping the victim.
- You may have a mental illness or disability that limited your capacity to decide to kidnap.
- You may not have intended to kidnap the alleged victim.
- You could have been falsely accused of the crime.
- You may not have transported the victim, which means this is not kidnapping, but could qualify as another, less-serious offense.
- You may have had a lawful right to transport the victim. For example, if you were a parent traveling with your child.
- They could have accused the wrong person entirely.
Defending against a kidnapping charge is challenging. A knowledgeable Maryland kidnapping attorney understands how to respond to the prosecutions’ evidence while providing a strong defense. At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, our attorneys are resolute in their determination to provide you the most vigorous defense possible.
State vs. Federal Kidnapping Charges in Maryland
Kidnapping is a serious crime carrying severe penalties. If you are charged with transporting a restrained victim within the State of Maryland, you will be prosecuted by the state. However, if you allegedly transported a restrained individual across state lines, you could be charged with federal kidnapping. States will combine their legal and law enforcement resources when prosecuting a kidnapping charge, and the FBI might step in. If you are facing federal kidnapping charges based on transportation of a victim to or from Maryland, you could face time in federal prison and potentially more serious charges.
Call Our Maryland Kidnapping Defense Attorney for a Free Consultation
Kidnapping is prosecuted as a serious felony under Maryland law. If you are convicted, you will be facing significant penalties and imprisonment. If you or a loved one is facing kidnapping charges in Maryland, retain our knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to provide an aggressive defense. We recognize the anxiety associated with felony charges. Our Maryland kidnapping defense attorneys at the Law Office of Randolph Rice are committed to providing our clients with the most vigorous, respectful, and comprehensive defense we can. Call (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation to review the facts of your case.