Lexington Kidnapping Defense Attorney
The information contained herein is designed to be applicable to those charged with Kidnapping in conjunction with Criminal Domestic Violence or CDVHAN. For other kidnapping or felony cases you are welcome to visit our criminal defense website.
South Carolina's kidnapping law is contained in S.C. Code § 16-3-910. Kidnapping is a felony punishable by up to thirty years in prison and entrance on the Sex Offender Registry.
In order to be convicted of kidnapping the Solicitor's office must prove the following occurred:
an abduction, carrying away, confinement or detention
of a human being
without legal justification or cause
You can be convicted of kidnapping even when such is just incidental to another crime. Kidnapping charges may accompany CDVHAN when allegations similar to the following scenarios are made:
locking or holding someone in a closet or bedroom
forcibly taking someone from one house to another location
making someone remain seated or otherwise stay in one place during an argument
detaining someone who is having an affair with your partner
Although kidnapping may occur by force it can also be accomplished by restraint (such as locking or blocking a door) or by trick or deceit (called inveigling). There is no requirement that the episode last a certain period of time, even the briefest of detention or holding can qualify as kidnapping under South Carolina law.
Police sometimes charge individuals with kidnapping in addition the CDV as a way of trying to give the prosecutor an advantage when the case goes to Court. This strategy can result in individuals being charged with kidnapping even when the facts of what actually occurred do not meet the legal requirements.
Kidnapping and the Sex Offender Registry
The South Carolina Sex Offender Registry is a public database of those convicted (either by guilty plea or trial) of a sexual offense. This list is associated primary with child molesters and sexual predators. Once someone is placed on the list it is usually for life. Individuals have to continually update their information with their County Sheriff's Department or face additional criminal charges.
Individuals convicted of kidnapping (either by guilty plea or after a trial) are placed on the Sex Offender Registry by default. The only way this can be avoided is if the sentencing judge makes a specific ruling that the kidnapping was not related to any sexual offense. If an alleged victim is under eighteen years of age the registry is mandatory.
In many cases it is easy to demonstrate that a kidnapping is not sexually related. An easy example may be a bank robber taking hostages during a police standoff. When kidnapping accompanies a CDVHAN charge, this may be more difficult. Since the alleged victim is usually a current or former spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend there is some existing history of sexual activity. It is therefore important that the defense not only involve all available defenses to the general charge but also to the presumption that there was a sexual motivation or intent.
Confidential Consultations Available
If you or a loved one has been charged with Kidnapping, Criminal Domestic Violence or any other serious crime you may schedule a confidential consultation with our office. Please call (888) 302-5840. During this consultation you will have your case personally reviewed by attorney James Snell as well as to ask any questions you may have about the charge, legal defenses and Court procedure.