Kidnapping Lawyer St. Louis, MO. The crime of kidnapping is not only a serious one, in Missouri it is one that has a broad definition and is often included along with other serious charges like robbery or sexual abuse. In addition, Missouri‘s kidnapping law is quite complex, and could potentially even apply to situations where someone takes custody of their own children.
If you or a relative has recently been accused of, or charged with, kidnapping, Combs Law Group is here to help navigate the legal waters on your behalf. Our firm provides personalized legal services for all our St. Louis criminal defense clients and prides itself on total client satisfaction. Call us today at (314) 900-HELP to schedule a free, confidential consultation about your St. Louis kidnapping case.
Kidnapping Laws in Missouri
Missouri’s kidnapping statutes are some of the most comprehensive in the United States, and can be found beginning here with MO RS 565.110. The degrees of kidnapping in Missouri are as follows:
- First degree kidnapping is when a person is “unlawfully removed without their consent” for the purpose of extracting a ransom or reward, using them as a hostage, interfering with a political/governmental function, facilitating a felony or flight from justice, or inflicting physical injury. This is always a class A felony, punishable by 10-30 years in prison.
- Second degree kidnapping is defined as “knowingly restraining another person, unlawfully and without consent, so as to interfere substantially with their liberty and expose them to a substantial risk of serious physical injury”. This is a class D felony, punishable by up to seven years in prison.
- Third degree kidnapping uses the same definition as second degree kidnapping, except without the line regarding exposure to physical injury. This is a class A misdemeanor (which has a sentencing recommendation of up to a year in city/county jail or a $2,000 fine) unless the person being restrained is taken outside Missouri state lines: then it becomes a class E felony (carrying a recommended sentence of up to four years in prison).
Missouri law also has special provisions for child kidnapping when the plaintiff is not a relative of the child they allegedly kidnapped (a class A felony), plus a special section (MO RS 565.153) that deals with “parental kidnapping”. This is when someone who has the right to custody of a child “entices” the child away from someone else who also has the right to custody of that child, either within Missouri state lines or to another state, when a court order determining custody has not been made. Like child abduction (which in Missouri deals more with disputes that occur after custody/visitation rights arrangements have been made), this is a class E felony, but unlike child abduction, if the child is kept away from its legal guardian for longer periods of time, the charges can be upgraded.
Kidnapping statutes in Missouri are also unique in that they specifically outline a number of potential defenses against certain kidnapping charges. These defenses relate to kidnapping in the third degree (see here) and parental kidnapping/child abduction (viewable here).
Contact A Reputable St. Louis Kidnapping Defense Lawyer
As you can see, Missouri’s statutes regarding kidnapping are complex, confusing, and highly technical. In addition, many kidnapping charges are part of larger indictments that contain other serious charges like human trafficking. If you have been charged with any sort of offense in St. Louis that is considered kidnapping, it is critical that you hire a St. Louis criminal defense attorney with a legal mind strong enough to sift through these laws and prepare a defense tailor-made for your case.
Combs Law Group is one of St. Louis‘ highest-rated criminal defense law firms because they place client satisfaction at the heart of all that they do. Our firm works one-on-one with every single one of our clients to provide a unique, aggressive defense for their particular charges. We pride ourselves on being available for our clients at any time, day or night, to answer questions related to their case or to discuss how we will approach your defense. Contact us today to speak with an attorney and schedule a free, confidential review of your St. Louis kidnapping charges.