A conviction for charges of kidnapping can be punished extremely harshly, because of the emotionally charged nature of such allegations. Aggravated kidnapping, which involves elements beyond simple kidnapping, is taken extremely seriously by Illinois courts. If you’ve been charged with kidnapping or planning to kidnap a person in Chicago, you’ll need a knowledgeable and tenacious Chicago kidnapping defense lawyer on your side to help you with your trial.
The definition of kidnapping generally involves transport from one place to the next of a victim who has been taken through coercion or force, but sometimes if victims are detained against their will, without any element of transport, a conviction can still result.
Illinois law on aggravated kidnapping spells out that this crime occurs when a suspect:
- Has an intent to obtain ransom (of money or any other valuable) from the person kidnaped or from someone else;
- Takes a child under the age of 13 years, or a severely or profoundly intellectually disabled person as a victim;
- Inflicts great bodily harm or commits another felony against the victim;
- Conceals their identity by wearing a hood, robe, or mask;
- Commits the offense of kidnaping while armed with a dangerous weapon, including with a firearm; or
- Discharges a firearm during the kidnapping, whether it causes harm or not.
For each type of aggravated felony listed above, charges of a class X felony can be levied by a prosecutor, and potential punishments can consist of between 6 and 30 years in prison. For aggravated kidnapping involving the use of a firearm, 15 years will be added to the sentence that a judge levies, if convicted. For situations that involve a suspect discharged a firearm, even if no one was hurt, 20 years will be added to the sentence. If a suspect discharges a firearm and in doing so causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, or death to another person, 25 years or a natural life term will be added to the sentence.
Anyone convicted of aggravated kidnapping a second time can be sentenced to natural life imprisonment, unless the second offense occurred after the suspect had already been convicted of the first offense.
Due to the extremely high stakes, if you have had charges for aggravated kidnapping levied against you, you must seek representation from a highly dedicated Chicago criminal defense lawyer immediately. The Chicago kidnapping lawyers at Goldman & Associates have many years of experience helping clients with aggressive kidnapping defenses. Protecting your freedom is our top priority. While kidnapping charges can lead to a feeling of hopelessness, we will pursue every available option. Contact our kidnapping attorneys for a free case evaluation today.