Connecticut Kidnapping Laws

A defendant has committed the crime of kidnapping if he or she intentionally or knowingly abducts another person. This situation often arises within the divorced or separated family context as well. The most commonly publicized cases involve the kidnapping of a child by one of the child's parents while the child is in the custody of the other parent.

Kidnapping with a Firearm

In Connecticut, a defendant can be convicted of the higher crime of aggravated kidnapping if he or she has committed a kidnapping using or threatening the use of firearm. Kidnapping in the first degree with a firearm is a class A felony for which one year of the sentence imposed may not be suspended or reduced by the court.

Additionally, a defendant is guilty of second-degree kidnapping with a firearm when he commits kidnapping in the second degree using or threatening the use of firearm.

Kidnapping in the second degree with a firearm is a class B felony for which three years of the sentence imposed may not be suspended or reduced by the court.

The following table lists the main provisions of Connecticut kidnapping laws, while additional background information follows. See FindLaw's Fraud and Financial Crimes section for more information.

Statute Conn. Gen. Stat. ยง 53a-92, Sec. 53a-97, Sec. 53a-98
Defenses to Kidnapping Charges
  • The defendant voluntarily released the victim in a safe place (NOTE: This is only a partial defense and may only result in the decrease of the penalty and charge by one degree.);
  • Fleeing domestic violence;
  • Lack of knowledge;
  • The defendant is a relative of the victim;
  • The defendant's only intent was to gain lawful control of the victim.
Degrees

First Degree: Class A felony.

  • It applies when a defendant:
  • Abducts a person for ransom;
  • Abducts a person for the purpose of sexually abusing or inflicting physical injury;
  • Abducts a person in the commission of a felony;
  • Abducts a person for the purpose of terrorizing the person or a third party;
  • Abducts a person to interfere with a government function; or
  • If a firearm is used in commission of a kidnapping, the charge becomes kidnapping in the first degree with a firearm.

Second Degree: Class B felony.

It applies when a defendant:

  • Abducts another person; or
  • If a firearm is used in commission of a kidnapping, the charge becomes kidnapping in the second degree with a firearm.
Custodial Interference Laws

Custodial Interference in the Second Degree is a Class A misdemeanor. Under the Connecticut statute, it applies when:

  • The relative of a child under the age of 16 intends to hold the child permanently, knowing he or she has no legal right to the child and taking the child from the rightful custodian; or
  • A party refuses to return a child of less than 16 years of age to the legal custodian, after a request to return the child.

Custodial Interference in the Second Degree is a Class A misdemeanor. Under the Connecticut statute, it applies when:

  • A person commits custodial interference in the second degree and exposes the child to a risk of danger; or
  • A person commits custodial interference in the second degree and removes the child from the state.

Note: State criminal laws are constantly changing -- contact a Connecticut criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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