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How a domestic violence incident can turn into a kidnapping

On Behalf of | Dec 26, 2023 | Criminal Defense

When you hear the phrase “kidnapping,” what probably comes to mind is holding another person hostage until you’re paid some kind of ransom or some other demand is met. 

While that’s certainly one definition, Colorado makes a distinction between kidnapping someone for ransom and other unlawful abductions. Both are serious offenses, but a second degree kidnapping charge can often arise from a much more ordinary domestic violence incident – even one that seems relatively benign.

What does second degree kidnapping look like in a domestic violence situation?

Imagine this scenario: You and your partner are in a heated argument and your partner starts to storm out. You grab your partner’s arm and forcefully drag them back into your home and block them from leaving with your body while you continue the fight.

That doesn’t sound like much, right? Well, not only could laying hands on your partner that way be considered domestic violence, forcing your partner back into your apartment or house and keeping them there against their will can be considered kidnapping. 

Even though you didn’t threaten your partner with any harm, you could still be charged with this offense. If you’re ultimately convicted, you would face a fine of between $2,000 and $500,000 and a prison term of between two and eight years. The potential penalties only get steeper if there was sexual violence involved, the victim suffered physical harm or there was a weapon involved.

Domestic situations have a way of escalating very quickly, so it’s wise to keep this in mind the next time you find yourself in a conflict with your partner – or anyone. If you do end up charged with kidnapping, it’s wisest to invoke your right to remain silent until you’re able to seek legal guidance.