Kidnapping can be a Class C or Class B felony in the state of Wisconsin, depending on the circumstances involved in the event, and it carries some pretty serious penalties – including jail time. So what should you do if you’re accused of or charged with kidnapping someone in Wisconsin?
Talk to a Criminal Defense Lawyer Immediately
Wisconsin is serious when it comes to kidnapping charges, so it’s important that you talk to a lawyer before you talk to police or investigators. Even if you’re not guilty, it’s a good idea to invoke your right to remain silent; your lawyer can give you further guidance after you’ve discussed the specifics of your case. Remember that police investigators aren’t there to help you; they’re there to get you to admit to kidnapping someone. Helping you is your lawyer’s job.
Recently, the state convicted a Colorado woman of kidnapping her infant nephew and is facing 25 years to life in prison; because the laws are very clear on what constitutes kidnapping, there wasn’t much of a question in the jury’s mind when they found her guilty.
Kidnapping Laws in Wisconsin
The state of Wisconsin defines kidnapping as taking someone from one place to another without their consent, either by force, through the threat of force, or by deceit, and with the intent of keeping them secretly confined or imprisoned. That makes kidnapping a Class C felony. However, when a person kidnaps someone in order to “cause another to transfer property in order to obtain the release of the victim,” or essentially creates a hostage situation, it becomes a Class B felony.
Building a Defense Against Kidnapping Charges
Your criminal defense lawyer will work closely with you to lay out all the facts of your case. He or she will have many questions, and as long as you answer truthfully, you’ll be helping your lawyer put together your defense.