Maine Kidnapping Laws
Defense Attorneys Serving all of Maine Including Portland, Augusta, Bangor, Biddeford, and Saco
One of the most serious criminal offenses a person can be accused of in Maine is kidnapping. Kidnapping is, basically, when one person restrains another person with criminal intent. The specifics of the law are important because there are several other charges that are very similar to kidnapping such as criminal restraint. Under Maine's Criminal Code, Title 17, Chapter 13, Section 301, a person can be charged with kidnapping if either of the following applies:
- The defendant restrains another person (the victim) on purpose with any of the following intentions:
- To hold the victim for ransom or reward
- To use the victim as a hostage or shield
- To inflict bodily harm or sexual assault on the victim
- To terrorize the victim or a third party In order to facilitate the committal of another crime
- To interfere with the performance of a government or political function
- The defendant restrained another person (the victim) on purpose:
- In a manner that exposes the victim to a serious risk of injury
- To hold the victim in a place where they are not likely to be found
What Situations are Considered Kidnapping in Maine?
The reasons for kidnapping are not important for a charge to be placed. All that matters is that a defendant purposefully restrained another in any of the above circumstances. According to Maine law, the definition of restraining is as follows:
to restrict substantially the movements of another person without the other person's consent or other lawful authority
A defendant can restrain a person by:
- Taking them from their home, business or school
- Moving them a substantial distance from the original location
- Confining them during this process
- Taking or destroying any government identification, passport or immigration document OR
- Using a “scheme, plan or pattern” to influence the victim into performing labor or services that will cause harm to them. This includes prostitution.
Also under section 2-A, a hostage is the following:
a person restrained with the intent that a 3rd person, not the person restrained or the actor, perform or refrain from performing some act.
The Penalties of Kidnapping in Maine
Kidnapping is one of the most serious criminal offenses that a person can face. It is a Class A offense that can result in the following penalties:
- Up to 30 years of jail time
- A fine of up to $25,000
The law also states that a defendant that releases the victim voluntarily and without being harmed can have their charges reduced to a Class B offense. The penalties for a Class B charge include:
- Up to 10 years of jail time
- A fine of up to $10,000
Maine Kidnapping Defense Lawyer
If you have been accused of kidnapping in Maine, it is vital that you contact a criminal defense attorney right away. Defense options are possible no matter how serious the charges are. Kidnapping charges can sometimes be proven to be lesser charges such as criminal restraint. In cases involving child custody, further defense options are available. Call Law Offices of William T. Bly to find out more about what a Maine kidnapping attorney can do for you.Contact us today!