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First-Degree Kidnapping

Kidnapping in any form under the Colorado Revised Code can yield drastic consequences. These penalties could even last a lifetime if you’ve been convicted of first-degree kidnapping in the State of Colorado. The reason why is first-degree kidnapping is classified as a Class 1 felony offense under certain circumstances, which carries a life-long prison sentence.

A charge for kidnapping in any degree could significantly impact your life and future goals. Not only could you be subject to steep fines and possible imprisonment, but you may suffer from the negative social stigma surrounding your kidnapping charge/conviction. That is why we highly recommend you secure legal representation as soon as possible if you’ve been charged with first-degree kidnapping in the State of Colorado.

Felony Kidnapping Attorney, Colorado Springs CO | First-Degree Kidnapping

First-degree kidnapping is a complex and nuanced violent crime that carries earth-shattering consequences upon conviction. If you’ve been accused or charged with the crime, contact Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC. Our skilled Colorado kidnapping defense lawyers utilize a proactive and aggressive approach, which has garnered them a proven track record of success. To speak to a qualified attorney today, contact our offices at (719) 328-1616.

Get started on your defense as soon as possible by calling our office or submitting an online contact form. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC accepts clients throughout the greater Colorado Springs area including Manitou Springs, Peyton, Fountain, and Calhan.

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First Degree Kidnapping Definition

The highest degree of kidnapping a person can face under the Colorado Revised Statutes is known as first-degree kidnapping. The offense is located under Section 18-3-301 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, which states the following.

  • A person who does any of the following with the intent to force the victim or any other person to make any concession or give up something of value in order to secure the release of the kidnapped victim commits first-degree kidnapping.
    • Persuade or entice the alleged victim to go from one place or another; or
    • Forcibly carry or seize the alleged victim from one place to another; or
    • Forcibly secrete or imprison the alleged victim

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1st Degree Kidnapping Sentence

Without any aggravating factors, kidnapping is a class 4 felony offense. However, under specific circumstances, the charge may be enhanced to first-degree kidnapping. If that occurs, then your maximum and minimum prison sentence will also be extended. The extent of these penalties will depend on the state of the victim after the crime has been committed.

If the victim was physically unharmed during the commission of the crime, then the defendant will face a class 2 felony. The maximum sentence for a class 2 felony under Colorado law is:

  • Up to 24 years in prison
  • A fine of at least $5,000, but not to exceed $1,000,000

If a deadly weapon was used or possessed during the commission of the crime, then the judge will increase the maximum sentence. The defendant will instead face a minimum sentence of 16 years and a maximum of 48 years for first-degree kidnapping.

Certain aggravating factors in a kidnapping case could warrant a class 1 felony classification. If the alleged victim was seriously injured or died as a result of the crime, then the judge will reclassify the crime as a class 1 felony. If convicted, the defendant could face a lifetime in prison without mandatory parole.


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Can Kidnapping Charges Be Dropped?

With the right legal representation, anything is possible. A criminal charge in Colorado, like any other U.S. State, does not automatically mean a conviction is inevitable. The prosecution is obligated to prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt to the jury to secure a conviction. If they fail to accomplish this task, then their only option is to reduce or dismiss the charges altogether. An experienced and skilled defense lawyer can cast doubt on the prosecution’s argument by crafting a defense based on the facts of the case.

There are various defenses a talented Colorado kidnapping lawyer can utilize. Some of these defenses include, but are not limited to the following:

  • The defendant never moved or transported the alleged victim
  • The alleged victim gave consent throughout the whole ordeal
  • The defendant was lawfully allowed to detain or transport the alleged victim
  • This is a case of mistaken identity and law enforcement have arrested the wrong person
  • The defendant had a custody arrangement with another person and accidentally “kidnapped” the shared child, but did not willfully withhold the child from the other parent or guardian
  • The defendant was under duress or coercion to commit the crime

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Is Parental Kidnapping a Felony?

Many cases of kidnapping are instances of custodial interference, which is where a person unlawfully takes or withholds a child from their custodial parent. The defendant must have the intent to deprive the other parent of their right to physical custody for the charges to stick. The crime can fit a wide range of scenarios including:

  • Failure to return the child to the custodial parent after a scheduled visitation
  • Refusal to allow visitation with non-custodial parents in direct violation of a court order
  • Transporting the child across state lines without notifying the other parent while only having supervised visitation rights
  • Secretly abducting the child from the custodial parent’s home or foster home after losing parental rights of the child

These are simply a few examples of parental kidnapping. In reality, the waters can get even murkier on how to define the offense since the statute is so vague. The District Attorney’s Office will also consider the following factors when determining if charges should be pressed.

  • The length of time in which was the child was missing
  • Whether the child left state or county lines in violation of a custody agreement
  • If the defendant expressed intentions to withhold the child from the other parent
  • If the custodial parent knew of the child’s whereabouts

Parental kidnapping is a class 5 felony in Colorado punishable by:

  • Up to 3 years in prison
  • A fine of up to $1,000

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Additional Resources

First-Degree Kidnapping | C.R.S. – Visit the official website for the Colorado Revised Statutes to find more information about first-degree kidnapping. Access the site to learn the elements of the crime, penalties, and admissible defenses.

Recover Missing Children in Colorado – Visit the official website for the Committee for Missing Children, Inc. Access the site to learn more about the organization, what their mission is regarding missing children, their coordinated search/public awareness efforts, and how you can extend your support.


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First-Degree Kidnapping Lawyer, Colorado | Colorado Springs

If you or someone you know has been charged with first- or second-degree kidnapping in Colorado, contact Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC. Our legal team has decades of combined legal experience we can apply to your case. With so much on the line, it’s critical you get started on your defense immediately, so no time is wasted when crafting your defense.

Call Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC today at (719) 328-1616 to set up your first consultation. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC accepts clients throughout the greater Colorado Springs and El Paso County, Colorado area.


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