Kidnapping is a serious offense in the state of Mississippi, and it may occur in a number of different ways. When most people think about kidnapping, they picture an armed person in a mask – perhaps pulling up in an unmarked van before grabbing someone off the street and holding them for ransom. But in reality, the vast majority of kidnapping cases are much less spectacular, and they typically involve family members. In fact, many people commit this crime without even fully realizing it.
If you have been charged with kidnapping in Mississippi, you need to get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. With help from a legal professional, you can fight for your rights and your freedom. As you will see, kidnapping can result in significant legal penalties. With the right legal assistance, you can mitigate these consequences as much as possible.
What is the Legal Definition of Kidnapping?
To get a sense of what constitutes kidnapping in Mississippi, it helps to refer to the exact legal definition of this crime. According to the statute, you are guilty of kidnapping when you:
Forcibly seize or confine someone
Cause someone to be secretly imprisoned against their will
Cause someone to be sent out of Mississippi against their will
Cause someone to be “deprived of their liberty”
Hold someone “in service” against their will
The penalty for kidnapping could result in 30 years’ imprisonment or even life in prison.
Is Parental Kidnapping the Same as Kidnapping?
Unlike many other states, Mississippi has no specific laws regarding “parental kidnapping.” If you are lucky, you will be charged with violating a custody order rather than kidnapping. This may occur under a number of circumstances:
Taking your children for an unexpected trip
Showing up unannounced and taking your children
Keeping hold of your children past your scheduled visitation time
However, you will likely face much more serious consequences if you attempt to take your children outside of the state, as this will trigger consequences under the federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act. Even if you feel you have no choice but to “escape” the state of Mississippi due to an abusive or dangerous ex, it is best to go through the proper legal process and perhaps modify your custody arrangement or obtain a restraining order. If you fail to do this and simply take the law into your own hands, you could face serious legal consequences – perhaps kidnapping charges.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have been searching the Mississippi area for a criminal defense attorney, look no further than Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. Whether you are a parent who mistakenly took your child on an extended trip or you kidnapped someone due to a misunderstanding, we can help you fight for your rights with confidence and efficiency. Reach out today to book your consultation and get started with an effective action plan.