If asked to make a list of violent crimes, you might name crimes like assault, robbery, and murder. Kidnapping probably didn’t make your list.
Kidnapping in Colorado: An Overview
In Colorado, kidnapping occurs when you imprison a person and/or cause them to move to a secondary location through force or unlawful enticement or persuasion.
Colorado kidnapping law recognizes several different types of kidnapping, including:
The crime of first-degree kidnapping occurs when a victim is kidnapped for ransom. Ransom can include demanding something of value or forcing someone to make any concession in exchange for the victim’s release.
First-degree kidnapping is a Class 2 felony if the victim is freed and unharmed. A Class 2 felony is punishable by eight to 24 years in prison and a fine of $5,000 to $1,000,000, or both.
The crime of second-degree kidnapping occurs when someone knowingly brings a victim to a secondary location without their consent. This crime also includes the act of taking or enticing a minor child to a secondary location.
Second-degree kidnapping is typically a Class 4 felony. A Class 4 felony is punishable by two to six years imprisonment, a fine of between $2,000 and $500,000, or both.
The crime of false imprisonment occurs when someone knowingly confines a victim without their consent.
False imprisonment is typically considered a Class 2 misdemeanor, which can carry a jail sentence of three months to one year, and a fine of between $250 and $1,000, or both.
Note that a kidnapping crime may be elevated to a Class 5 felony in certain circumstances, such as if the victim is confined for 12 hours or more. A Class 5 felony is punishable by one to three years in prison, a fine of $1,000 to $100,000, or both.
Kidnapping with a Crime of Violence Enhancement
Both first- and second-degree kidnapping can be elevated to a crime of violence in the following situations:
- You used or threatened to use a deadly weapon
- You inflicted bodily harm or death to any other person who was not participating in the crime.
When first- or second-degree kidnapping become crimes of violence, the sentences become harsher. Learn how sentencing may change below.
First-Degree Kidnapping with a Crime of Violence Enhancement
When a first-degree kidnapping involves the use or threatened use of a deadly weapon, the sentence increases to between 16 and 48 years.
Second-Degree Kidnapping with a Crime of Violence Enhancement
When a second-degree kidnapping involves the use or threatened use of a deadly weapon, the sentence may be increased as high as 32 years.
When a victim is injured or killed in a second-degree kidnapping crime, the sentence may be increased to as high as life imprisonment.
Talk to your criminal defense attorney if you are worried about your kidnapping charges could be elevated to a crime of violence. An attorney can review your case and help you build a defense to have your violent kidnapping crime charges reduced or dropped.
About the Author:
Andrew Bryant is a well-respected Colorado Springs criminal attorney who has been practicing in the area for years. A Colorado native, he returned to the home he loves after graduating from the University of Kentucky College of Law. Now, he uses the knowledge he gained as an El Paso County District Attorney to fight tirelessly for his clients’ rights. He is AV-Preeminent rated, has been recognized for his work by The National Trial Lawyers, and has been named to Best of the Springs lists by The Gazette for years.