When talking about kidnapping, many people think of a dark van pulling up and pulling in a child off the street. However, in reality, kidnapping is much more complicated. Many cases of alleged kidnapping have to do with disputes over divorce, child custody, or family disputes. Kidnapping is a serious criminal offense in Nevada, and the penalties can include life in prison without parole.
Nevada Kidnapping Offenses
In Nevada, kidnapping is divided into the first or second degree. Kidnapping in the first degree is a Category A felony. This occurs when a person willfully seizes, confines, entices, abducts, conceals, kidnaps or carries away a person by any means whatsoever with the intent to hold or detain them. Kidnapping could be committed for ransom money, to rob the person, inflict bodily harm or sexual assault, or kidnap a minor for any unlawful act.
Kidnapping in the second degree is a Category B felony. This occurs when a person kidnaps another person with the intent to keep the person secretly imprisoned, or to take them out of state without legal authority.
Kidnapping penalties will depend on the specific facts of the case. If the kidnapped person suffers substantial bodily harm, the offender could face 40 years in prison, with a maximum penalty of life without parole. If the kidnapped person suffered no substantial bodily harm, the offender could face 15 years in prison, with a maximum penalty of life with the possibility of parole.
Second-degree kidnapping carries a minimum of 2 years imprisonment, with a maximum of 15 years in jail, and fines of up to $15,000. In addition to prison time and fines, a convicted felon may also face limited job and educational prospects. A felony conviction may restrict voting rights, the right to serve on a jury, and the right to own or purchase a firearm.
Almost half of all reports of child kidnapping involve a family member taking the child. This often involves a non-custodial parent failing to return the child to the custodial parent. Relationship disputes, separations, and child custody battles can all involve allegations of child kidnapping.
A person having a limited right of legal custody to a child who violates a court order, willfully detains, conceals or removes the child from a parent, guardian or other lawful custodian, or removes the child from the jurisdiction of the court without consent is guilty of a category D felony.
You have rights, and you have legal defenses available. If you have been charged with kidnapping, you may not know where to go for help. You may have tried to take your child from an abusive household, only to find yourself accused of trying to kidnap your own child. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you through the difficult process ahead.
Las Vegas Kidnapping Defense Attorney
Kidnapping is a felony offense in Nevada, and a conviction can affect you for the rest of your life. If you or a loved one is facing kidnapping charges, you need an experienced Las Vegas attorney to fight for you. Nadine Morton has over 13 years of experience defending individuals facing felony criminal charges in Las Vegas and throughout Clark County. She understands what it takes to build a strong case and fight to keep her clients out of jail so they can get back to a normal life.