If you have been charged with kidnapping, here is some information to know and consider in seeking legal advice with Emma Turnbull Lawyers.
Elements of the offence
A charge of Kidnapping contains five elements to be proven to be successful. They can be found in s 63A of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) and are as follows:
- The accused took or carried that person away;
- The accused deprived another of their liberty;
- The accused did so by using force or fraud;
- The person taken or carried away did not consent to the conduct;
- The accused acted without lawful justification or defence.
Will I have to go to court?
Charges for kidnapping can be heard in either the County Court or the Supreme Court, depending on the seriousness of the offence; expert legal advice is important in ensuring the most appropriate defence to a charge of kidnapping.
A charge for kidnapping may or may not go to a trial with a jury, depending on the circumstances surrounding the events that resulted in the charge.
Once the case goes to court, it is up to the prosecution to prove all five elements of the offence. It is important that you seek expert legal advice in building a defence as the circumstances of the events that led to the charge can assist in a strong defence argument, and this offence carries a serious sentence of imprisonment.
The maximum penalty this offence carries is 25 years imprisonment, known as a Level 2 imprisonment.
What sentences are usually given?
Between 1 July 2011 and 30 June 2016, 39 people were sentenced with kidnapping as an offence. From that number, 74.4% were given imprisonment sentences, with a maximum term of 11.5 years. The median length of an imprisonment sentence was 5 years.
Non-imprisonment sentences included Community Corrections Orders (18%) and fines (5.1%).
What do I do now?
To ensure the best chance of a successful defence, it is important to get in contact with an expert criminal lawyer as soon as possible. At Emma Turnbull Lawyers, we have experienced criminal defence lawyers who can assist you in defending this charge.