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In Colorado, kidnapping is when you imprison another person and move them through force or unlawful persuasion. The penalties associated with kidnapping are severe. If convicted, you could be charged with a felony. You could face expensive fines and even possible prison time.

Kidnapping is a serious charge, so it’s highly recommended you don’t enter the courtroom alone. If you or someone you know has been charged with kidnapping, it’s imperative you seek legal representation. An attorney can evaluate your case and chart out a defense plan for you.

Kidnapping Attorney in Colorado Springs, CO

A kidnapping conviction could limit you personally and professionally. Employers and licensing agencies tend to not accept people with a violent criminal record. You may even have issues obtaining housing or maintaining personal relationships because of your conviction.

Don’t surrender your freedom without a fight. Call the attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC today. Our team of defense lawyers will utilize all our time and resources to formulate a strong defense plan. Contact us by phone at (719) 328-1616 to schedule a consultation. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC accepts clients throughout El Paso County and surrounding counties including Denver County and Arapahoe County.

Overview of Kidnapping in Colorado

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How is False Imprisonment Different from Kidnapping?

It’s common to hear the terms kidnapping and false imprisonment being used interchangeably. However, false imprisonment is a completely different crime than kidnapping with lighter penalties. Both crimes involve forcibly securing the victim without their consent, but for the crime to be a kidnapping the victim must have been moved from one place to another.

False imprisonment is normally a class 2 misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. The crime can be enhanced to a class 5 felony if:

  • Force or threats were used to detain the victim; and
  • The victim was detained for at least 12 hours

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What’s the Difference Between First and Second-Degree Kidnapping in CO?

Colorado classifies kidnapping offenses by two degrees; first and second-degree kidnapping. The definition for second-degree kidnapping can be found under Title 18 Article 3 Part 3 of the Colorado Revised Statues (18-3-302 C.R.S.), which states that:

  • Knowingly seizing and carrying another person from one place to another without their consent or lawful justification is guilty of second-degree kidnapping; OR
  • Taking, enticing or luring a child away with the intent to keep or conceal them from their parents or guardians or has the intent to sell, trade or barter the child is guilty of second-degree kidnapping

First-degree kidnapping falls under the same guidelines with these additional elements:

  • Doing any of the following with the intent to force the victim or any other person to make a concession or give up something of value in order to secure a release of the kidnapped victim is guilty of first-degree kidnapping:
    • Seizing and carrying the victim from one place to another;
    • Enticing or persuading the victim to go from one place to another; or
    • Imprisoning or forcibly keeping the victim in one place

Essentially, the major difference between first and second-degree kidnapping is that first-degree kidnapping requires the intent to secure a ransom or other type of concession. However, both crimes are treated seriously and charged as felonies in the state of Colorado.

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Penalties for Kidnapping in Colorado

The penalties for kidnapping depend on the circumstances of your case. It’s considered an “extraordinary risk,” which means the crime represents a substantial risk of harm to society. Because of this, the maximum sentence for kidnapping is longer than standard felonies.

Kidnapping can also be considered a “crime of violence” if:

  • You possessed or threatened to use a deadly weapon; or
  • Caused serious bodily injury or death to the victim or anyone else

Penalties for Second-Degree Kidnapping

Second-degree kidnapping is a class 4 felony without aggravating factors, which can result in:

  • Up to 8 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $500,000

The penalties can be enhanced if the kidnapping was done for the purpose of selling, trading or bartering the victim for something of value. When this happens, second-degree kidnapping is a class 3 felony, which is punishable by:

  • Up to 16 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $750,000


  • Up to 32 years in prison if a deadly weapon was possessed or used; and
  • A fine of up to $750,000

Robbing the victim will elevate the punishment of your kidnapping to:

  • Up to 24 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $1,000,000


  • Up to 48 years in prison if a deadly weapon was possessed or used; and
  • A fine of up to $1,000,000

Penalties for First-Degree Kidnapping

The penalties on first-degree kidnapping depend on the state of the victim. If the victim was physically unharmed, then the crime will be a class 2 felony which is punishable by:

  • Up to 24 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $1,000,000

However, if you used or possessed a deadly weapon, then the maximum prison sentence is:

  • Up to 48 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $1,000,000

If the victim is injured or dies because of the kidnapping, then the crime is a class 1 felony. The maximum for a class 1 felony is life in prison with the possibility of the death sentence if the victim died because of the incident.

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Additional Resources

Child Abduction Resources – Visit the official website of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to access their resources for victims and families. Find more information about international child abduction, tips for what to do and publications by experts and survivors.

Kidnapping Laws in Colorado – Visit the official website of the Colorado Revised Statues to learn their laws on kidnapping. Access the statutes to read the charge specifics, penalties and other assaultive offenses under Colorado law.

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Defense Lawyer for Kidnapping in El Paso County, CO

If you or someone you know has been charged with kidnapping, it’s crucial you seek legal counsel. You could face felony charges which includes the possibility of prison. Start you defense by calling our legal team at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC.

The attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC excel at criminal defense. We have represented numerous clients charged with assaultive offenses such as kidnapping or false imprisonment. Call (719) 328-1616 now to discuss your case with a strategic defense lawyer. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC accepts clients throughout the greater Colorado Springs area including Manitou Springs, Calhan and Fountain.

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