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NY Penal Law § 135.25: Kidnapping in the First Degree

June 28, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

Kidnapping is among the most serious crimes listed in the New York criminal code. It entails restraining someone and secreting them away so that the individual cannot be found.  There are two degrees of kidnapping in the New York criminal code.  They are kidnapping the first degree and kidnapping in the second degree. The definition of kidnapping in the second degree is the abduction of another individual.  Under New York Penal Law § 135.25, such an abduction would be raised to the level of kidnapping in the first degree if any of the following details involved:


  1. There is a ransom demand
  2. The victim passes away in the process
  3. The victim is held for longer than 12 hours so that you have time to physically injure or sexually assault the victim, terrorize a third person, commit another felony, or interfere with the performance of a governmental or political activity


For Example

With the assistance of her nanny, Robert abducts Vivian , a 5 year old girl, from a local playground. Knowing that Vivian’s parents are rather wealthy people, Robert makes a demand of $1,000,000 for the safe return of Vivian. Both Robert and the nanny could be facing prosecution on the charge of kidnapping in the first degree, because they were both involved in the abduction and they demanded a ransom payment.


Offenses that are Related

Kidnapping in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 135.20

Unlawful imprisonment in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 135.05

Unlawful imprisonment in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 135.10


Possible Defenses

One key defense against a charge of kidnapping is to establish consent. If you can establish that the victim agreed to go with you and also agreed to remain at that location, then you have a solid defense against a charge of kidnapping in the second degree. Under New York Penal Law § 135.25, another defense against a charge of kidnapping is that you are a relative of the individual who was abducted and the purpose of the abduction is to assume control of that person for some reason.


The Sentence

Kidnapping in the first degree is categorized as a class A-I felony. If you get convicted of this crime, you could spend the rest of your life in prison. The minimum sentence you could face would be 15-40 years.



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