Have you been accused of unlawful imprisonment or kidnapping in Louisville, Kentucky? Depending on the charge, you could be facing a misdemeanor or felony conviction. The State of Kentucky takes these crimes very seriously, so it’s crucial that you obtain the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
The Louisville kidnapping attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC are here to help you fight these charges and protect your future. Our skilled legal team has over 100 years of combined experience defending accused people in Louisville, KY – and we’re prepared to go to battle for you.
Call us or contact our law office today at (502) 371-7000 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your kidnapping charges with an experienced lawyer. We’ll review the evidence against you and develop an effective strategy to reduce or drop the charges.
How Our Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help If You’ve Been Charged With Kidnapping in Louisville, KY
Whether you’ve been charged with unlawful imprisonment, kidnapping, or custodial interference, you could serve time in prison. The prosecution will likely seek the maximum punishment possible, even if you didn’t have the requisite intent to commit the crime.
That’s why you need an experienced Louisville criminal defense attorney on your side. Our legal team benefits from the experience of a former prosecutor and a former police officer – giving us unique insight into the inner workings of how these agencies operate and think. We’ll use that knowledge to ensure you receive the best outcome possible in your kidnapping case.
When you hire our award-winning criminal defense lawyers in Louisville, we’ll:
- Investigate the charges and evidence against you and work to gather our own exculpatory evidence
- Create a legal defense strategy that is tailored to the specific facts of your case
- Communicate and negotiate with the prosecution as we work towards a favorable plea deal, dismissal, or reduction of charges
- Help you understand any plea bargains the prosecutor offers
- Ensure that you’re treated fairly throughout the process and keep you updated on the progress of your case
- Take your kidnapping case to court if we think it’s in your best interest
Don’t try to fight kidnapping charges alone. Prosecutors handle these matters every day and know how to get guilty verdicts. Let our Louisville criminal defense lawyers put our skills, knowledge, and experience to work for you and protect your legal rights. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation to see how we can help.
Overview of Kidnapping Laws in Kentucky
Chapter 509 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes defines several related crimes, including unlawful imprisonment, kidnapping, and custodial interference.
Before we discuss each criminal offense, it’s helpful to explain the definition of “restrain” under Kentucky law.
Restraining someone means restricting their movements in a way that substantially interferes with their liberty by either:
- Moving them from one place to another; or
- Confining them where the restriction started or in a place they were moved to without their consent.
Moving or confining someone without their consent means it was accomplished by the use of:
- Physical force
- The acquiescence of the victim, if they are under the age of 16 or substantially incapable of controlling their own behavior
Below we discuss the legal elements of unlawful imprisonment, kidnapping, and custodial interference.
What Is Unlawful Imprisonment in Kentucky?
Unlawful imprisonment in the second degree is when someone unlawfully and knowingly restrains another person. It is classified as a Class A misdemeanor.
“Knowingly” means the person is aware that their conduct is restraining another person.
Unlawful imprisonment in the first degree is when someone unlawfully and knowingly restrains another person in a way that exposes them to a risk of serious physical injury. This crime is a Class D felony.
What Is Kidnapping in Kentucky?
Someone is guilty of kidnapping in Kentucky if they unlawfully restrain another person and their intent is to:
- Hold them for a reward or ransom;
- Use them as a hostage or shield;
- Carry out or advance the commission of a felony;
- Terrorize the victim or someone else;
- Inflict bodily injury on the victim or someone else;
- Interfere with a political or governmental function; or
- Deprive the guardians or parents of their custody of a minor (if the alleged kidnapper isn’t exercising custodial supervision or control of the minor).
Kidnapping in Kentucky is a Class B felony if the victim is released alive and in a safe location prior to trial. If the victim is released alive but has sustained serious physical injuries, the kidnapping is charged as a Class A felony.
Kidnapping in Kentucky is a capital offense if the victim isn’t released alive or is released alive but subsequently dies due to:
- Serious physical injuries sustained during the kidnapping;
- Not being released in a safe location; or
- Being released in circumstances that are intended, known, or should’ve been known to cause or lead to death.
As you can see, kidnapping is a serious offense in Kentucky. If you’re facing this charge, contact an experienced Louisville kidnapping lawyer as soon as possible.
What Is Custodial Interference in Kentucky?
Custodial interference is when someone unlawfully keeps, takes, or entices any mentally disabled person or another person who is lawfully entrusted to the custody of another or to an institution.
This crime is a Class D felony. However, the charge may be dropped or reduced if the defendant voluntarily returns the taken person before they are arrested.
What Are the Penalties for a Kidnapping Conviction in Kentucky?
The penalties you face will depend on the charges, as follows:
- Unlawful imprisonment in the second degree (Class A misdemeanor): up to one year in jail
- Unlawful imprisonment in the first degree (Class D felony): one to five years in prison
- Class B felony kidnapping: 10 to 20 years in prison
- Class A felony kidnapping: 20 to 50 years in prison or life imprisonment
- Capital offense kidnapping: 20 to 50 years in prison, life imprisonment, or the death penalty
People charged with these crimes may also face fines. Our experienced kidnapping attorneys in Louisville will work to reduce or dismiss the jail time and fines you receive. Contact us today for help.
Collateral Consequences of a Kidnapping Conviction
Kentucky treats kidnapping seriously, and you may encounter several collateral consequences if you’re convicted, including:
- A criminal record, which will show up in background checks
- The loss of your custody and visitation rights
- Damage to your personal and professional reputation
- Barriers to obtaining employment
- Issues obtaining housing and loans
- The loss of access to public assistance
- The loss of gun ownership rights
- Losing your professional licenses or certifications
Jail time and fines are bad enough, but these collateral penalties can affect your personal life forever. That’s why it’s crucial to retain an experienced Louisville criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to fight your kidnapping charges.
What Defenses Can Be Raised If I’m Accused of Kidnapping in Louisville, Kentucky?
Different defenses may apply based on the crime you’ve been charged with and the prosecut
or’s evidence against you. The prosecution has the burden of proving their case beyond a reasonable doubt, so if there are any weaknesses, we’ll identify them and argue on your behalf accordingly.
Some possible kidnapping defenses in Kentucky include:
- The alleged victim consented to the movement or restraint
- You lacked the intent to kidnap or restrain the alleged victim
- You were a relative of the victim, and your sole purpose was to assume custody of them
- Lack of evidence proving the elements of the case
- Mistaken identity
- False accusations
- A violation of your constitutional rights by law enforcement, including an illegal search, arrest, or seizure
Many kidnapping charges arise in the context of family matters, such as domestic violence or child custody battles. Prosecutors frequently add on kidnapping to see what charges will “stick.”
We’ll speak to witnesses, review the evidence, and do everything possible to defend you against unlawful imprisonment or kidnapping charges in Louisville, KY.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Louisville Kidnapping Attorneys
Are you facing kidnapping charges in Louisville, KY? You could be facing decades in prison if convicted, depending on the crime. With your freedom on the line, it’s essential to have experienced legal representation defending your rights and ensuring that you’re treated fairly throughout the life of your case.
The Louisville kidnapping attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC are here to provide honest advice and guidance as we work towards a favorable plea deal, reduction, or dismissal of your charges. We’ll put our 100+ combined years of experience to work for you and give you the advocacy you deserve.
Contact our criminal defense law firm today to schedule a free case evaluation. We’re available 24/7 to listen to your side of the story – so call now.