Kidnapping and Domestic Violence Charges in Washington
According to Washington law, there are a number of criminal offenses that can be charged as domestic violence crimes. One such offense is kidnapping. If you have been arrested for domestic violence kidnapping in Seattle, call our office right now to speak with a defense attorney who will fight for you. Attorney Steve Karimi is dedicated to getting his clients the best possible results by building strong defense.
Seattle Domestic Violence Kidnapping Laws
Under Washington State law there are two types of kidnapping charges that can be considered domestic violence. The first charge is kidnapping in the first degree. Under RCW 9A.40.020, this offense can be alleged if a person “intentionally abducts another person with intent” of any of the following:
- To hold that person for ransom or as a hostage
- To commit a felony crime To inflict injury or harm on the victim
- To inflict mental distress on the victim or on another person
- To interfere with a government function
Under this law, a person could be charged with kidnapping if they try to force a loved one to stay with them after an argument take their children away from their other parent since it can be argued that the offender intended to inflict mental distress.
The second offense is kidnapping in the second degree. According to RCW 9A.40.030, this offense is defined as being committed when a person “intentionally abducts another person under circumstances not amounting to kidnapping in the first degree”.
This is a very vague definition and many situations involving family members could be interpreted as kidnapping under this description. Under section (2) of this law, however, a rule that a crime will not be charged if evidence shows the following:
(a) the abduction does not include the use of or intent to use or threat to use deadly force, and
(b) the actor is a relative of the person abducted, and
(c) the actor's sole intent is to assume custody of that person
This is not always easy to prove, especially when the prosecution or other party is alleging that there was intent to cause mental distress or violence. There are many situations where an argument could be interested as kidnapping. If you have been accused of any type of kidnapping crime involving a family member or partner, it is vital that you contact a defense attorney as soon as possible.
What Makes a Kidnapping Charge Domestic Violence?
RCW 10.99.020 states that certain types of crimes can be ruled domestic violence if they involve individuals who share a family or dating relationship. This can be any type of close relationship such as spouses, ex-spouses, grandparents, child and parents, boyfriends, girlfriends, siblings and more.
It is important to understand that a domestic violence offense can be charged even if the alleged victim does not want to press charges. If the State believes that a crime was committed against a family member, you can still be arrested and charged with the crime regardless of what the victim tells law enforcement. The best way to understand how domestic violence charges work as well as what penalties you are facing is to speak to an experienced DV defense attorney.
Kidnapping Domestic Violence Penalties in Washington
In Washington, the penalties for kidnapping are very serious. Kidnapping crimes carry some of the most severe sentences, so it is very important that anyone facing these charges has knowledgeable legal counsel. For kidnapping in the second degree, an offender may be charged with a Class B felony which can lead to the following sentences:
- Up to 10 years of prison time OR
- A fine of up to $20,000 OR
- A combination of up to 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines
A conviction for kidnapping in the first degree, which is a Class A felony, can lead to the following sentences:
- Up to life in prison OR
- A fine of up to $50,000 OR
- A combination of up to life in prison and $50,000 in fines
These sentences are steep and a judge will not hesitate to impose these penalties if you are convicted. In addition to these criminal penalties, anyone charged with domestic violence will be subject to additional fines and a no-contact order against the alleged victim. For many this means being unable to return to their home or see their children without supervision.
Call A Seattle Domestic Violence Lawyer Right Away
Because the penalties for kidnapping are so steep, anyone facing charges for these types of crimes should call a defense lawyer as soon as possible. Attorney Steve Karimi understands what it takes to fight a domestic violence charge and will help you build a string defense. He is a former prosecutor so he knows what the other side looks for in a defense. Call The Law Offices of Steve Karimi now to set up a free consultation and to find out more.