Las Vegas Criminal Law Blog

Kidnapping vs. False Imprisonment: Is There a Difference?

Every human is granted the freedom to move about their day. When this freedom is stripped away, they are left feeling helpless and violated. If someone is charged with kidnapping or false imprisonment in the state of Nevada, they could face serious charges. To protect their freedom, they need to understand the key differences between kidnapping and false imprisonment. While these crimes may sound similar, they have some weighty differences. When a defendant understands these nuances, they can formulate a stronger defense for their case.

Definition of Kidnapping Under Nevada State Laws

In Nevada, kidnapping is considered the intentional act of moving a person against their will by using force or the threat of force. The distance that the kidnappee is moved does not have to be substantial. A person could be charged with kidnapping if they move a victim against their will to another room, into a car, or across counties, states, or countries. This act of transporting a person separates kidnapping from false imprisonment. Since the court views kidnapping as a more serious crime than false imprisonment, kidnapping is often punished as a felony. It’s also important to note that the penalties can be greater if the kidnapping involves a child or a plea for ransom.

Definition of False Imprisonment Under Nevada State Laws

In contrast to kidnapping, false imprisonment does not involve moving a victim. Instead, a person can be charged with false imprisonment when they confine or detain someone against their will without legal justification. Additionally, criminal charges can stick even if the act was not done with force or intimidation. The victim simply needs to perceive that they were confined to a space and prevented from leaving due to the actions of another.

False imprisonment can be punished as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the severity of the act. For example, if the person performing the action did not use a deadly weapon, the crime would be considered a gross misdemeanor. However, if a deadly weapon is used, the person will be charged with a Category B felony.

What Are the Penalties for Kidnapping in Las Vegas?

Kidnapping is a felony that can vary in severity from first-degree to second-degree kidnapping. When someone is charged with first-degree kidnapping, they are found guilty of seizing and confining someone with the intention to hold them for ransom, commit sexual assault, rob the victim, kill the victim, physically harm the kidnappee, or perpetrate an unlawful act against a minor. First-degree kidnapping penalties could include life in prison with no possibility of parole, life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years, or 40 years in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years.

All other kidnapping charges are considered second-degree and have less severe penalties. If someone is charged with second-degree kidnapping, their penalties could include two to 15 years in prison and fines up to $15,000.

What Are the Penalties for False Imprisonment in Las Vegas?

The penalties a person may face when charged with false imprisonment will depend on whether it is a misdemeanor or felony. In Nevada, penalties for a misdemeanor case include up to $2,000 in fines and up to a year in jail. A felony charge of false imprisonment consists of a sentence in prison, with the time varying from one to six years.

Seek Help From a Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

If you’ve been accused of false imprisonment or kidnapping in Las Vegas, your home and work lives are at risk. Don’t risk your freedom by facing these challenging legal problems on your own. Instead, turn to the Law Offices of Benjamin Nadig. You can rest assured he’ll fight for your rights and develop an effective defense strategy that could get the charges dropped, dismissed, or reduced.

If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor in Nevada for false imprisonment or a felony for kidnapping, do not answer any questions until Ben arrives. He’ll do everything he can to keep the arrest from becoming a conviction. Contact the law office today for immediate guidance.