Kidnapping is considered to be a violent offense in California. It’s defined as using fear or force to seize another individual and detain and transport them against their will. Kidnapping is committed for many different reasons, including ransom, robbery, or rape.


In California, you can be charged with kidnapping if you:

  • Forcibly steal, take, hold, or detain any person in this state, and carry them into another part of the same county, another county, another state. or another country.
  • Hold or detain someone against their will for the purpose of collecting a ransom, reward, or committing extortion.
  • Convince a child under the age of 14 years to accompany you to another part of the same county, another county, another state. or another country.
  • Forcibly take a person out of state, in violation of the laws of the United States, or of this state, or hire someone to do the same, for the purpose and intent to sell that person into slavery or involuntary servitude, employ that person for your own use, or to the use of another, without the free will and consent of that person.
  • Abduct, or take by force a person in another state or country and bring them to California.

Penalties for Kidnapping in California

Kidnapping is a felony offense in California. A conviction could get you up to 8 years in jail.

There are many ways a kidnapping sentence can be enhanced:

  • If you kidnap a child under the age of 14, you could get up to 11 years in state prison.
  • If the victim suffers death or bodily harm or is intentionally confined in a manner that exposes that person to a substantial likelihood of death the punishment could be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility for parole.
  • If you kidnap the victim with the intent to commit robbery, rape, oral copulation, or sodomy, you could be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility for parole.

If you’re convicted of kidnapping in California, you’ll have to serve at least 12 months of your sentence before being eligible for parole.

Some Legal Defenses Against Kidnapping Charges in California

As you can see, the penalties for being convicted of kidnapping in California are quite severe. If you’ve been arrested and charged with kidnapping in Orange County, CA, you need to take immediate steps to protect your rights. You can start by calling Orange County, CA kidnapping lawyer Jim Tanizaki.

Jim Tanizaki is a former Orange County DA turned criminal defense attorney. He knows the tactics the prosecution team will use to obtain their conviction. There are many defense tactics that could be used to get the kidnapping charges against you reduced or even dropped, such as:

  • The alleged victim provided consent to be moved
  • The victim was not moved a substantial distance
  • You were protecting a child from harm
  • The accusations against you are false
  • You were making a citizen’s arrest
  • You were asserting your parental rights

Speak to an Orange County CA Criminal Defense Attorney

No matter how bad your situation may seem, always remember that you’re innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. There are legal defense strategies for any kidnapping charge. Find out what your legal options are. Use our website, or call us at (714) 655-7633 to schedule a free, confidential initial consultation with Orange County, CA kidnapping defense attorney Jim Tanizaki.