Kidnapping Law in Georgia

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Georgia Kidnapping Law

Kidnapping is an aggressive form of false imprisonment; generally defined as the unwanted taking away or transportation of an individual against their will. There are different circumstances where Kidnapping can be as small as a non-custodial parent coming and taking their child from school without obtaining consent from the custodial parent.

Under OCGA § 16-5-40 (a), “[a] person commits the offense of kidnapping when he abducts or steals away any person without lawful authority or warrant and holds such person against his will.” This means that there are four elements to kidnapping, (1) abduction or stealing (2) a person, (3) without consent, (4) and against their will.

What differs from false imprisonment and a kidnapping is that in order for a charge to be kidnapping as opposed to false imprisonment, the accused has to have moved the victim. Any movement will suffice, even slight movement. However, a prosecutor may have difficulty obtaining a kidnapping charge if the imprisoned individual was only moved from one room to another. Another difference is that false imprisonment is a felony with up to 10 years in prison for conviction. However, kidnapping is considered a violent felony which carries at least 10 years in prison without parole for conviction of this crime.

Georgia Kidnapping Penalties

Depending on the certain circumstances involved in your case, you may be prosecuted with kidnapping or with other similar offenses. There are different types of kidnappings which

  • Kidnapping
  • False imprisonment
  • Hijacking an aircraft or motor vehicle
  • Interference with custody
  • Trafficking of persons for labor or sexual servitude

For standard kidnapping charges, Georgia code §16-5-40 imposes a minimum of ten years and a maximum of 20 years in prison when the victim is over the age of 14. Kidnapping of a minor under the age of 14 can result in a minimum of 15 years in prison. Defendants also face life imprisonment or death if the kidnaping was for ransom or if the victim received bodily injury.

Interference with child custody, as mentioned above, is also a common kidnapping offense. This charge is typically prosecuted as a misdemeanor punishable by fines and imprisonment, including a minimum of one month and a maximum of five months for the first offense and a minimum of three months and a maximum of 12 months for the second conviction. A third conviction or a conviction that involves interstate travel is prosecuted a felony offense punishable by a minimum of one year in prison and a maximum of five. OCGA §16-5-45.

Charged with kidnapping/false imprisonment?

Whatever your kidnapping charge may be, you can expect no leniency, vigorous prosecution and, often, minimum mandatory terms of imprisonment. If you have been charged with kidnapping then you will greatly benefit from the legal assistance of Bixon Law, LLC. We are a criminal defense law firm that is dedicated to serving those who have been accused of criminal activities. We will be able to answer your questions regarding your case, discuss your options with you, advise you of the best legal action for you to take and provide you with aggressive representation of your case in court if you choose to work with us. Please feel free to give us a call at any time at 404-551-5684.


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