Abduction is a crime involving the removal of another person, by force or by threat of force, from the place where they were found to a different location. Under Ohio law, abduction can also involve restraining another person’s liberty by force or threat or holding that person in involuntary servitude.
Abduction by removal and restraint of liberty is likely to be charged as a felony of the third degree in Ohio. Abduction by involuntary servitude is considered a felony of the second degree. Many people use the terms kidnapping and abduction interchangeably. However, while abduction falls under Ohio Revised Code 2905 entitled “Kidnapping and Extortion,” it is distinct from the crime of kidnapping.
Ohio Abduction Defense Attorney
The crime of abduction is incredibly serious. If you are convicted, you could face years of imprisonment. The sooner you speak to an experienced lawyer, the better. A criminal defense lawyer can help you ensure that your rights are protected. Allow Joslyn Law Firm to be of assistance during a difficult time like this.
To schedule your first consultation, call (614) 444-1900 today. If you have been charged with abduction in Franklin County, or any of the surrounding counties in Ohio, including Pickaway County, Madison County, Delaware County, Licking County, or Fairfield County, contact Joslyn Law Firm.
When charged as a felony in the third degree, abduction carries a sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to $10,000. If the alleged offender was charged with a felony in the second degree, a conviction for abduction could result in a prison sentence of up to eight years and a fine of up to $15,000.
If prosecutors believe that the alleged offender has a sexual motivation when placing the alleged victim in involuntary servitude, the defendant could face an enhanced sentence related to the furtherance of human trafficking if convicted.
Sentencing will be influenced by the details of the offense, including how long the victim was held and how the victim was treated while being held. The defendant’s prior criminal history will also be a consideration.
The statute of limitations for abduction is six years unless special circumstances apply to the case in question. This means that prosecutors are barred from filing new charges in an abduction case once six years have passed since the date of the offense.
One of the more common abduction scenarios involves one parent taking their minor children away from the other parent, often in the midst of a contentious family law dispute. Depending on the facts of the case, someone charged with abducting their own children may have numerous defense arguments, including:
- That the abduction was necessary to escape abuse or domestic violence.
- That the allegations were made falsely in an attempt to influence the custody ruling or deprive the other parent of their custody rights.
- That the defendant was unable to transfer custody to the other parent on time because of circumstances like a medical emergency or natural disaster.
In many cases involving a parent taking their own child, an abduction charge may not be appropriate. An experienced attorney may be able to negotiate for a lesser charge of interference with custody. In Ohio, someone who violates this law but doesn’t harm their child or take the child out of state is likely to be charged with a misdemeanor of the first degree, which carries a significantly lower sentence than a felony charge. Additionally, the language in the statute specifically notes that the defendant can offer an affirmative defense to this crime if they reasonably believed that taking the child was “necessary to preserve the child’s health or safety.” An affirmative defense is one in which the defendant admits to breaking the law but offers a reasonable justification for doing so.
If the alleged victim was an adult being abducted by another adult, there are still several possible defenses. These could include claiming that:
- The victim has a cognitive impairment (like dementia) and mistakenly believes they were being abducted by a family member or caregiver.
- The victim needed to be abducted to be protected from abuse, injury, or neglect at the hands of another person.
- The defendant was acting in self-defense, was able to subdue their attacker, and was holding them there until law enforcement arrived.
- The defendant was mistakenly identified as the abductor.
The 2020 Missing Children Clearinghouse – This is a thorough annual report issued by the Ohio Attorney General regarding known or suspected child abductions. The report contains abduction statistics, tools for locating missing children, and an explanation of law enforcement responsibilities in these types of cases.
Self-Help legal manual for domestic violence victims – This manual was produced by the Ohio Domestic Violence Network. It provides information and resources a parent may find helpful if they were fleeing a domestic abuser with their children.
Ohio Abduction Defense Attorney | Joslyn Law Firm
The consequences of an abduction conviction can be devastating. Unfortunately, they can significantly hinder your future. If you have been charged with abduction in Columbus, Ohio, contact Brian Joslyn of the Joslyn Law Firm to discuss the facts of your particular case. In a stressful case like this, working with a skilled criminal defense lawyer is essential.
Joslyn Law Firm serves clients in Franklin County and the surrounding counties, including Pickaway County, Madison County, Delaware County, Licking County and Fairfield County in Ohio. Call (614) 444-1900 to schedule your first consultation for free.