The state of Utah has stringent laws regarding the kidnapping of a child or adult and harsh punishments for people convicted of this crime. In addition to those severe penalties, a person found guilty of kidnapping is required to be registered on the Utah Sex and Kidnap Offender Registry.
If you are facing potential kidnapping charges or have already been arrested, you need the best kidnapping defense lawyer in Salt Lake City, Utah, available to you. Your kidnapping defense attorney should be well experienced in providing kidnapping defense in the Utah court system.
Click to jump to section:
- Kidnapping Charges in Utah
- Child Kidnapping
- Aggravated Kidnapping
- Potential Punishments for Kidnapping Conviction in Utah
- The Utah Sex and Kidnap Offender Registry
- Top Criminal Defense Lawyer in Utah
Kidnapping Charges in Utah
There are various ways that someone might commit the crime of kidnapping under Utah law. If someone intends or knows he/she is engaging in one of the following acts against the victim’s will and does not have any legal authority to do so, that person is guilty of kidnapping:
- Restraining or detaining a person for a significant length of time
- Holding the person in a state of involuntary servitude
- Taking the victim a significant distance or taking the person across a state line
- Detaining someone and exposing them to the risk of being physically injured
- Restraining or detaining a minor without consent from the child’s parent or legal guardian
In Utah, a person is guilty of child kidnapping if he/she knowingly or intentionally detains, confines, transports, or seizes a minor child under age 14 without first receiving consent from the victim’s parent or guardian.
The crime of kidnapping is escalated to aggravated kidnapping if the person committing the crime is in possession of a dangerous weapon, threatens to use it, or more specifically threatens to use it with the intention of:
- Committing a sex crime
- Inflicting bodily injury on the victim to terrorize him/her or someone else
- Using the victim as a hostage or human shield
- Holding the victim for a reward or ransom.
- Compelling a third person to be involved in conduct that aids in committing the crime
- Delaying or impeding the reporting or discovery of a felony
- Helping make committing a felony or attempting to commit it easier
- Interfering with a government or political activity
- Helping make fleeing after committing a felony or attempting to flee easier
Potential Punishments for Kidnapping Conviction in Utah
The penalties for a kidnapping conviction in Utah can vary widely depending on the nature of events that occurred during the kidnapping and their effects on the victim or others:
- Second Degree Kidnapping: This level of kidnapping conviction is a felony. It carries a sentence of 3 to 15 years in prison and fines as high as $10,000.
If the victim or another person is physically injured during the kidnapping and the accused has a prior conviction for a serious sex crime, sentencing can escalate. It can potentially increase to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
- First Degree Kidnapping: Child kidnapping and aggravated kidnapping cause the charge to be escalated to a first-degree felony. If convicted, the defendant can face 15 years to life in prison.
The courts can depart from the usual sentencing guidelines if they determine that a lesser penalty better serves justice in a given case.
The Utah Sex and Kidnap Offender Registry
Under Utah Code 77-41-101, there are numerous requirements and other information you need to know if you are ordered to be entered into the Utah Sex and Kidnap Offender Registry. During the time you are required to maintain your registration in the registry, there are multiple rigid restrictions and other strict compliance orders to which you must adhere.
Some people may believe they are exempt from registering as a kidnap offender, although they are actually required to register. For some examples:
- If you live in another state but work in Utah
- If you don’t live in Utah but will be in the state for more than 10 days in 12 months
- If you’re a student in Utah
- If you were found not guilty by reason of insanity
Why You Need a Top Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you find yourself being charged with first- or second-degree kidnapping in Utah, you are facing a legal challenge that has extremely severe consequences for failure. With potentially your entire future at stake, you need the best Salt Lake City kidnapping lawyer you can get.
Your lawyer will ensure that all your legal rights are fully protected. Your attorney’s full focus must be on keeping you out of jail, protecting you from a criminal conviction, and keeping you off the Utah kidnapper registry.
Best Kidnapping Defense Lawyer, Utah
We are criminal defense attorneys in Utah. We work quickly and aggressively to have your charges dropped or significantly reduced. We will guide you through the criminal justice process in the Utah court system, build the most compelling case for your defense, and stand up in court and fight for you.
Call Wasatch Defense Lawyers at (801) 980-9965, or use our online contact form to schedule a free case review and discuss how we may be able to help you.
- Chilling Charges: Facing an Aggravated Assault Charge in Utah? Here’s Your October Guide - October 30, 2023
- Spooky Legal Situations: Understanding the Plea of Abeyance this October with Wasatch Defense Lawyers - October 27, 2023
- How to Prepare for a Sexual Crime Trial - October 27, 2023