Knowledgeable Sevierville Attorneys Defending Against Tennessee Kidnapping Charges

Fighting against serious criminal charges in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg

There are various levels of kidnapping laws in Tennessee, and all of them are serious. Potential penalties can include substantial jail time and fines. These are serious crimes that require a serious defense. When faced with kidnapping charges in Pigeon Forge, Seymour, or Gatlinburg, secure an experienced Sevierville criminal defense attorney at Delius & McKenzie, PLLC for a vigorous defense.

Kidnapping classifications in Pigeon Forge, Seymour and Gatlinburg

The Tennessee statute defines three types of kidnapping offenses:

  • Kidnapping. False imprisonment of a person under circumstances exposing them to risk of injury.
  • Aggravated kidnapping. False imprisonment of a person either causing injury to the victim, while in possession of a deadly weapon, or for the purposes of committing a felony.
  • Especially aggravated kidnapping. False imprisonment of a person accomplished by the use or threat of a deadly weapon, when the victim is a child, or to hold the victim as ransom, or where serious bodily injury occurs.

No matter what level of kidnapping charge you are facing, our attorneys can fight for you.

Defending against Tennessee kidnapping charges

Tennessee law defines kidnapping as a false imprisonment, under conditions that place the victim at substantial risk of bodily harm. To understand the elements of the crime, it’s important to consider the definition of false imprisonment, which is a lesser-included crime. False imprisonment is defined in the statute as “knowingly removing or confining an individual unlawfully to substantially interfere with the party’s liberty.” The difference between false imprisonment and kidnapping is the risk-of-harm element that makes a kidnapping conviction more serious.  This also is the difference between a Class A misdemeanor and a serious felony charge.

The state classifies false imprisonment as a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine up to $2,500. However, kidnapping is a Class C felony, punishable by three to 15 years in prison, and up to $10,000 in fines. A felony kidnapping conviction can substantially alter your life, so it is crucial that you secure representation from a seasoned Sevierville criminal defense lawyer at our firm. 

Diligent defense for an aggravated kidnapping charge

The state may increase a kidnapping charge to aggravated kidnapping if the incident includes a false imprisonment, in addition to one of the following circumstances:

  • The kidnapping was done in the commission of a crime.
  • The kidnapping was done as part of an escape following the commission of crime.
  • The kidnapping was done to interfere with a political function.
  • The kidnapping was done with the intent of inflicting harm on the victim.
  • The kidnapping was done to terrorize the victim or another individual.
  • The victim suffers a bodily injury.
  • The accused is in possession of a deadly weapon or threatens to use a deadly weapon against the victim.

Aggravated kidnapping is classified as a Class B felony, punishable by eight to 30 years in prison and a fine up to $25,000.

The state may further increase a kidnapping charge to especially aggravated kidnapping if the incident includes a false imprisonment, in addition to one of the following circumstances:

  • The kidnapping was committed with a deadly weapon.
  • The kidnapping was committed with any item that lead the victim to reasonably believe that there was a deadly weapon involved.
  • The victim was under the age of thirteen at the time of the kidnapping.
  • The kidnapping was done for ransom.
  • The kidnapping was committed for the purpose of having a shield or hostage.
  • The victim suffers a bodily injury.

Especially aggravated kidnapping is classified as a Class A felony, punishable by 15 to 60 years in prison and a fine up to $50,000.

Our Sevierville criminal defense attorneys are prepared to handle even the most complicated kidnapping cases. Trust us to fight for your rights when you need it the most.

Developing an effective defense

An experienced attorney can employ a variety of strategies when defending against a kidnapping charge. One tactic is the assertion that the victim consented to the move or concealment. If the individual consented and your actions did not go beyond that consent, there was no kidnapping. Your attorney may also determine that the best strategy is to seek reduction of your kidnapping charges down to false imprisonment, or present evidence regarding the voluntary release of the victim to mitigate potential penalties. Our attorneys have more than 20 years of experience handling these types of cases. We know what defense to employ to help you get the results you need.

Contact us to speak to an aggressive attorney after a Tennessee kidnapping charge

A kidnapping charge should be taken seriously. The Sevierville criminal defense attorneys at Delius & McKenzie, PLLC take every case seriously and work to provide you with a successful defense. Call us today at 865-280-3686 or fill out our contact form to make an appointment. Our criminal defense attorneys are proud to serve clients in Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and throughout Tennessee.