Most instances of this crime have no aggravating factors. Penalties are issued based on these usual kidnapping instances. However, there are specific guidelines followed to determine if the criminal actions are considered aggravated based on some criteria. It is often these aggravating factors that cause a person to find himself or herself behind bars for a lengthy period of time. Additionally, compensation may have to be made to the family of the victim or the person abducted.
Aggravated Kidnapping Explained
When a simple kidnapping charge is elevated to aggravated, this usually means there were additional factors present for the crime to become worse in the eyes of the law. To become aggravated, the kidnapping often must have some kind of violence, injuries to the victim, ransom demands and similar issues attached to the crime. Dangerous weapons are often involved with aggravated criminal actions with the intention of harming or intimidating the person taken. Additional charges may be issued based on various elements of the crime, but these are usually saved for injuries, death and dismemberment of the target person. If multiple persons are taken, each person is counted as one charge each. Penalties are usually much harsher when more than one person has been abducted.
Elements of Aggravated Kidnapping
Some elements alter simple kidnapping charges to aggravated based on the actions the perpetrator took while confining the victim. If the person was forcibly seized, the charges often move up to the harsher crimes. When the person kidnapped is moved from one area to another, this has been considered grounds for aggravated kidnapping, as the abductor does not need to remove the person to kidnap him or her. Another element includes the intention of using force on the victim. This could be used on the victim or on someone else to ensure something of value has been given from him or her. Force may be used on the victim or someone he or she knows to ensure the target person provides the item or objects of value.
History of Kidnapping
Originally, this crime was considered to be one where the perpetrator used force to abduct someone with the action of removing him or her from their initial location to another one. Since the beginning definition of this crime, it has been modified to include when force is used to abduct a person or to confine him or her against his or her will. The crime is basically the same in each state with mild variations based on specific factors, but state laws have different definitions of what constitutes kidnapping as well as accompanying penalties applied through conviction.
Moving the Victim
In order for some states to consider this to be a crime, the victim must be moved a considerable distance from his or her original location. This means a person taken from one house to another may be considered to be kidnapped in some states, but taking the same person to another room in the same house in this state may not be deemed this crime. Some states do not use this factor for this crime