Abduction With Intent

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Abduction in Virginia

Va. Code 18.2-47 outlaws Abduction, also known as Kidnapping, which is defined as:

Any person who, by force, intimidation or deception, and without legal justification or excuse, seizes, takes, transports, detains or secretes another person with the intent to deprive such other person of his personal liberty or to withhold or conceal him from any person, authority or institution lawfully entitled to his charge…

The Virginia Abduction statute further explains “intimidation”:

Any person who, by force, intimidation or deception, and without legal justification or excuse, seizes, takes, transports, detains or secretes another person with the intent to subject him to forced labor or services shall be deemed guilty of “abduction.” For purposes of this subsection, the term “intimidation” shall include destroying, concealing, confiscating, withholding, or threatening to withhold a passport, immigration document, or other governmental identification or threatening to report another as being illegally present in the United States.

Abduction in Virginia is a Class 5 Felony, with a possible penalty of of up to 10 years of incarceration and a fine up of to $2,500. If a parent Abducts a child, in violation of a Court Order, then the charge may be a Class 1 Misdemeanor, unless the child is taken across state lines, in which case it is a Class 6 Felony.

Abduction does not require taking the victim any particular distance, or moving the victim at all. Evidence of restraint or prohibiting the victim to leave a place may be sufficient to find guilt.

Abduction Aggravating Factor: With Intent to Defile or For Pecuniary Benefit

Abduction with Intent to Define or For Pecuniary Benefit is an aggravated Abduction offense in violation of Va. Code 18.2-48:

Abduction (i) of any person with the intent to extort money or pecuniary benefit, (ii) of any person with intent to defile such person, (iii) of any child under sixteen years of age for the purpose of concubinage or prostitution, (iv) of any person for the purpose of prostitution, or (v) of any minor for the purpose of manufacturing child pornography shall be punishable as a Class 2 felony.

A Class 2 Felony is among the most serious criminal offenses in Virginia. The only more serious offense category is a Class 1 Felony, which is Capital Murder.

Abduction for Pecuniary Benefit can be charged when the abduction was used to facilitate a crime of theft, such as robbery or larceny. Whether the charge is for pecuniary benefit for intent to defile, it is not necessary to prove that the intended act actually occurred. Instead, the Commonwealth has to to prove what the Defendant intended to do.

This offense also include a unique mandatory sentencing requirement:

If the sentence imposed for a violation of (ii), (iii), (iv), or (v) includes a term of confinement less than life imprisonment, the judge shall impose, in addition to any active sentence, a suspended sentence of no less than 40 years. This suspended sentence shall be suspended for the remainder of the defendant’s life subject to revocation by the court.

If a Defendant receives anything less than a life sentence, the Court is required to also order a separate suspended sentence of 40 years, which will ‘hang over’ the Defendant for life, subject to the Defendant’s good behavior and compliance with other terms of the sentence.

Consult with Experienced Virginia Criminal Defense Attorneys

Contact our Client-Focused Criminal Defense Team to learn how we can help represent you in your Virginia Abduction case. Our Virginia criminal defense attorney can help those accused of abduction throughout Northern Virginia including Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax, among many other jurisdictions.