Experienced San Antonio Kidnapping Attorney Represents Abduction Suspects
Skilled Texas lawyer defends clients facing felony charges
Kidnapping is a serious offense, and those who are charged with this crime require a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer in their corner. Kevin L. Collins, P.C. provides clients in San Antonio and statewide facing these serious allegations with the determined defense they need. With more than 27 years of experience as a prosecutor and defense attorney, I understand what’s at stake and am fully prepared to challenge the prosecution’s case on your behalf.
What is kidnapping and how is it punished?
Kidnapping is the intentional or knowing abduction of another person. People often think of kidnappers abducting people and holding them for ransom, but it can also occur when a parent takes his child in violation of the other parent’s custody rights. Aggravated kidnapping is charged when the kidnapper intends to do any of the following during the kidnapping:
- Hold the victim for a ransom or reward
- Use the victim as a hostage or human shield
- Aid in the commission of another felony or in an escape after the commission of a felony
- Injure or sexually violate or abuse the victim
- Terrorize the victim or another person
- Interfere with the performance of a governmental or political function
- Use or display a deadly weapon
All kidnappings are felonies and may result in years of prison time. The punishment for simple kidnapping is two to 10 years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000, while that for aggravated kidnapping is five to 99 years of imprisonment and/or a similar fine. However, if the defendant proves that he or she voluntarily released the victim in a safe place, the prison term for aggravated kidnapping will be reduced to two to 20 years. In representing you, I may seek to prove that you did not use or intend to use deadly force and were merely trying to assert lawful control over the alleged victim.
Federal laws against kidnapping
Federal law prohibits kidnapping for ransom or reward in certain circumstances, most of which do not apply to parents who abduct their own children. Those circumstances include:
- The kidnapper transporting the victim across state or international lines
- The kidnapper using the mails or any means of interstate or foreign commerce in the commission of the crime (for instance, by transporting the victim by airplane or by mailing, emailing or phoning a ransom demand)
- The victim being kidnapped or held on federal land
- The victim being a federal official or employee or an international official
If the defendant fails to release the victim within 24 hours after the abduction, the defendant has the burden of proving that the kidnapping is not a federal crime. The punishment in any of these cases is life in prison; if the victim dies, the kidnapper faces a potential death sentence. A co-conspirator with the kidnapper may also be sentenced to life in a federal prison. However, if the victim is less than 18 years old and the defendant is a relative or has legal custody of the child, the punishment is 20 years in prison. Finally, anyone who takes or retains a child outside the United States in order to obstruct the lawful exercise of parental rights over the child may be sentenced to three years in prison.
In light of what is at stake, you need a lawyer who will defend your case vigorously and completely. That is the kind of representation I offer, making sure that I contest the prosecution’s case and present every defense I can based on the facts of your case.
Contact a San Antonio kidnapping defense attorney
When you are charged with or investigated for kidnapping, either by state or federal authorities, you can depend on Kevin L. Collins, P.C. in San Antonio, Texas to provide a sound defense. To set up a consultation, call me at 210-598-8629 or contact me online.