Virginia Kidnapping Laws
In Virginia, "abduction" and "kidnapping" are used interchangeably to refer to one of the most serious crimes in the state. The offense occurs when an individual (by force, intimidation, or deception and without justification) takes, transports, or detains another person with the intent to:
- Deprive the other person of their personal liberty;
- Withhold or conceal them from another person, authority, or institution; or
- Subject them to forced labor or services.
Under the Virginia statute, intimidation includes the following:
- Withholding or threatening to withhold a passport, immigration documents, or other governmental ID; or
- Threatening to report someone's illegal presence in the U.S.
Virginia Kidnapping Laws at a Glance
Understanding the exact components of any statute is critical: It's a task best left to a trained attorney, but a non-lawyer can obtain important information by referencing a "plain English" guide to the statutes. See the chart below for an overview of Virginia's kidnapping laws.
Abduction with the intent to commit extortion or for an immoral purpose: When an individual abducts a person under the following circumstances:
Threatening/attempting/assisting in such abduction:
Anyone who threatens, attempts, or assists with an abduction with intent to extort or for an illegal purpose can be charged with this offense.
Under the felony-murder rule, if a killing occurs during the kidnapping, the defendant can be charged with first degree murder (punishable by a prison term of 20 years to life).
Unless stated otherwise, an abduction charge is penalized as a Class 5 felony; class 5 felonies carry a prison term of 1-10 years. With the jury or court's discretion: not more than 12 months in jail and/or a fine up to $2,500.
Abduction with the intent to commit extortion or for an immoral purpose (Class 2 felony):
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Virginia Kidnapping Laws: Related Resources
- Virginia Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws
- Virginia Criminal Laws
- Human Trafficking and Slavery
- What Legal Remedies are Available if a Parent Abducts a Child?
If You're Facing Abduction Charges, Connect with an Attorney
If you're convicted of violating any of Virginia's kidnapping laws, you could face time behind bars, costly fines, or both. Connect immediately with a local criminal defense attorney who can work toward getting your case resolved in the best way possible.
Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney
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