About Utah Crime Aggravated Kidnapping Under Code 76-5-302

Allegations of kidnapping are always a serious matter.  However, aggravated kidnapping is penalized even more severely than other types of kidnapping charges.  A conviction can have absolutely devastating consequences for your personal and professional life.  If you are found guilty of aggravated kidnapping under Utah Code § 76-5-302, you could be sentenced to many years in prison, be heavily fined, lose your job, and endure other life-altering consequences.

Facing an aggravated kidnapping charge is an extremely stressful ordeal, especially if you lack familiarity with Utah’s criminal justice system or the procedures that govern criminal cases.  It is in your best interests to ensure you have the benefit of skilled and effective legal counsel.  Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer Darwin Overson brings over 16 years of experience to every case, and is dedicated to defending every client’s Constitutional rights.  When you are represented by Darwin, you can feel secure that an aggressive and knowledgeable legal ally will be fighting in your corner.  To set up a free legal consultation with Darwin, call the law offices of Overson Law at (801) 758-2287 immediately.

What Are Aggravating Factors in a Kidnapping Criminal Case?

Kidnapping and aggravated kidnapping are separate crimes, much like simple assault and aggravated assault, or burglary and aggravated burglary.  The aggravated version of a criminal charge is always more serious, which means the penalties are more extensive if the defendant is convicted.  However, before discussing the possible penalties for aggravated kidnapping in Utah, you must have a clear understanding of what it is you’re being accused of committing.

Every crime in Utah is defined by its own criminal statute.  The statute that deals with aggravated kidnapping is Utah Code § 76-5-302, whereas kidnapping is defined under Utah Code § 76-5-301.  There is also a separate criminal offense known as child kidnapping under Utah Code § 76-5-301.1, which is charged when the victim is below a certain age.

Under Utah Code § 76-5-302, a person is charged with aggravated kidnapping when he or she commits the crime of kidnapping, and additional elements or factors are allegedly present in the offense.  If present, any one of these factors will change kidnapping charges into aggravated kidnapping charges:

  • The defendant “possesses, uses, or threatens to use a dangerous weapon.”  A dangerous weapon is any object that can cause death or serious injury, including fake imitation weapons when used under certain circumstances.
  • The defendant acts with intent to do any of the following:
  • Make it easier to commit, attempt to commit, or flee from the scene of a felony.
  • Interfere with the discovery of a felony by law enforcement or others.
  • Interfere with government operations or political processes.
  • Injure or terrorize the kidnapping victim, or another person.
  • Commit a sex crime against the victim.
  • “[H]old the victim for ransom or reward, or as a shield or hostage,” or to compel another person to do, or avoid doing, a certain action.

Utah Felony Aggravated Kidnapping Penalties: Fines and Prison Sentencing

All aggravated crimes are extremely serious, and aggravated kidnapping is no exception to this rule.  Aggravated kidnapping is never a misdemeanor; it is always a felony.

There are three types of felonies in Utah: third degree felonies, second degree felonies, and first degree felonies, the highest level of non-capital crime.  Aggravated kidnapping is a first degree felony, like rape and murder.  It is imperative that you are represented by a highly experienced Utah criminal defense lawyer if you have been charged with this offense.

The criminal penalties for a first degree felony are devastating.  If convicted, the defendant may be fined as much as $10,000, and in addition, may also be sentenced to:

  • 15 years to life in prison
  • Life in prison without the possibility of parole (release)

The nature and length of the sentence depends on the circumstances of the offense, and the reasons the offense was committed.

Arrested for or Charged with Aggravated Kidnapping? Contact a Salt Lake City Defense Lawyer

If you are convicted of aggravated kidnapping, you are looking at a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison.  You stand to lose your career, your family, and your very freedom itself.  When the repercussions of a criminal charge are so incredibly damaging, it is absolutely crucial to make sure that your rights and liberties will be aggressively protected by a tough and experienced Utah aggravated kidnapping lawyer who knows what it takes to fight these incredibly serious charges.

It is essential that you do not delay seeking legal help if you, your spouse, your child, or one of your family members has been arrested for aggravated kidnapping in Salt Lake City or other parts of Utah.  Call criminal attorney Darwin Overson immediately at (801) 758-2287 to set up a free legal consultation today.