It is easy to hear the word “abduction” and picture a Hollywood scene of a person blindfolded and tied to a chair with lots of drama, but this word actually has a broader legal definition.
If you are facing criminal charges of abduction in Virginia and are confused about what this means, you are not alone. This complex offense includes holding, moving, or keeping an individual against their will, and can apply to a wide range of circumstances from domestic disputes, custody and visitation rights, and even holding someone’s keys or driver’s license to keep them from leaving. Prosecutors often tack abduction onto other charges.
If you are charged with abduction, you likely have some questions:
– What are the implications of an abduction charge?
– How can I be charged with abduction if I didn’t touch or hurt anyone?
– Can an abduction charge be dropped or reduced?
– Is abduction the same as kidnapping?
– What are my next steps?
Fortunately, there are answers available for each of these questions.
Under Virginia law, there is no minimum time requirement necessary to be considered abduction. Once the victim’s movement is inhibited, the act of abduction is already complete, whether violence was involved or not. Abduction is a Class 5 felony and is punishable up to 10 years in prison, and/or a possible fine of up to $2,500. Abduction is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor if committed by a parent or guardian, with much higher consequences if the child is removed from the Commonwealth of Virginia (Code of Virginia § 18.2-47). The terms “abduction” and “kidnapping” are synonymous under Virginia law.
Depending on the facts involved in your situation, you may have several defensive options. It is essential that you immediately retain an experienced defense attorney who understands Virginia abduction law to help you resolve your case. JR Law understands that bad things happen to good people, and is happy to talk with you about your case to obtain the best possible outcome. For a free case evaluation, call today at 757-455-9277 and ask for defense attorney Jerrell R. Johnson.