Kidnapping

There are three classes of kidnapping. Ranging from least to most serious these are basic, aggravated and specially aggravated. In order to prove any of these, the prosecution must first prove the elements of the basic offence and then if the offence is aggravated or specially aggravated, certain additional elements. In each case the offence is focussed on deterring and punishing interference with another person’s liberty. All kidnapping offences must be dealt with in the District Court and typically carry substantial gaol sentences upon conviction. 

Principal solicitor Christian Hearn has years of experience dealing with kidnapping offences. It is an area in which there is often room for negotiation with the prosecution for the reduction of charges. For a free consultation contact Hearn Legal any time. 

BASIC KIDNAPPING

This offence is committed where a person takes or detains another without their consent while having any of the following three intentions:
 

  • Holding that person to random

  • Committing a serious indictable offence

  • Obtaining any other advantage


The seriousness of an offence will depend on numerous factors including the period of detention, the purpose of the detention, the conditions of detention, the use of violence or weapons and who the person is (e.g. innocent child versus gang member). Conviction for a kidnapping offence is a very serious matter which will almost certainly result in a substantial gaol term.

Maximum penalty: 14 years imprisonment

AGGRAVATED KIDNAPPING

An aggravated offence occurs where a person commits a basic offence, but does so either:
 

  • In company with one or more persons; or

  • While committing the offence (including immediately before and after) inflicts actual bodily harm on the victim.
     

In company simply means that 2 or more people form an agreement and then together commit a crime. It is considered more serious because a victim faced with multiple assailants will likely experience a greater sense of fear and helplessness.


Maximum penalty: 20 years imprisonment

SPECIALLY AGGRAVATED
KIDNAPPING

A specially aggravated offence occurs where a person commits a basic offence,
but does so:

 

  • While in company with one or more persons; and

  • While committing the offence (including immediately before and after) inflicts actual bodily harm on the victim


While the aggravated offence requires only one of the extra elements to be present, the specially aggravated offence requires both. This is a very serious offence. If convicted a substantial gaol term is almost a certainty.

The law relating to kidnapping is complex. In order to properly assess your options an experienced defence lawyer will need to conduct a comprehensive review of all the evidence in the case against you. If you are charged with kidnapping it is highly recommended that you obtain legal advice promptly.

Maximum penalty: 25 years imprisonment

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