Kidnapping is one of the most serious violent crimes that you can be charged with in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Kidnapping is one of the violent crimes which requires the government to prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt: read more about Kidnapping
First the government must show that the accused unlawfully removes another person a substantial distance from the place where he or she is found, or
The government must show that the accused unlawfully confines another for a substantial period in a place of isolation, with any of the following intentions:
(1) To hold for ransom or reward, or as a hostage.
(2) In order to help him commit any felony.
(3) In order to cause bodily injury or to terrorize the victim. Or
(4) In order to interfere with public officials who are trying to perform any governmental or political function.
Although these criminal elements sound like a difficult burden for the government to show, the Pennsylvania higher courts have widdled down what is required for the government to be successful in a kidnapping case. Possessing a Weapon Specifically, the kidnapping statute requires that an accused transport the alleged victim a substantial distance. The higher courts, however, have defined "substantial distance" as being a relative term which can be less than a mile. Additionally, although the kidnapping statute requires that an accused kidnap the alleged victim for a substantial period of time, the higher courts in Pennsylvania have found that a "substantial time" can be less than an hour.
Kidnapping is an extremely serious crime. Kidnapping is graded as a felony of the first degree and therefore punishable by up to 20 years in state prison and a $25,000. You should contact an experienced Chester County Violet Crimes attorney if you are being investigated for or charged with the crime of kidnapping.