8/1/2012 9:31:00 PM by Garrett Law Group, PLC
The Virginia Code defines abduction as the unauthorized holding or transporting of someone against their will by force, threat, intimidation, or deception. It doesn’t require years of law school to be able to recognize abduction, also referred to as kidnapping, when a victim is tied up, gagged, blindfolded, thrown in the trunk of a car and carried off to be ransomed. These acts certainly fit the legal definition of abduction under Virginia criminal law; but many other situations not so obvious to the casual viewer are also considered kidnapping and carry the same penalty – up to twenty years in Virginia State Prison.
A non-violent abduction charge could be filed against someone who uses trickery or deception in order to coerce the victim who may otherwise be cooperative. For instance, impersonating a police officer by flashing a blue strobe light in order to entice a motorist to pull over is guilty of abduction. A homeowner who threatens their housekeeper to report them to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) unless they work overtime may be charged with abduction. During a lover’s spat if one holds the purse and driver’s license of their estranged to keep her from driving away may be charged with abduction.
There are other non-violent situations where no actual force is used against someone, but force is implied. For instance, a passenger in a moving vehicle who demands to be let out and the driver refuses to stop the car; the driver may be charged with kidnapping. Also, under Virginia law, there is no requirement that the victim be held for a particular time period. The abduction is completed at the instant the victim’s movement is curtailed.
A common non-violent abduction offense involves parental kidnapping. Parental kidnapping usually involves little to no coercion or force; most cases involve a complicit, and often willing, victim. The parent may be charged with abduction simply by not returning the child to the custodial parent or guardian. Similarly, abduction may be charged in cases involving young lovers when one is kept from their parents, or when a runaway child who is harbored against the will of their parents.
If you or a family member is charged with abduction in Virginia Beach, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer who is experienced in abduction cases. Our criminal lawyers will advise you on a proper course of action, plan an aggressive defense, and may be able to negotiate a reduction of the charge or dismissal altogether. (757) 422-4646. Calls answered 24/7/365.
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