Kidnapping, the act of abducting or restraining a person, carries severe legal consequences in Nebraska for those who are convicted. The following information is an overview of kidnapping under Nebraska law, including the penalties, potential defenses, and how a criminal defense lawyer can assist clients who are criminally charged.

Omaha Kidnapping Defense Attorney

Kidnapping is an extremely serious charge, and can result in catastrophic consequences if not defended properly. Our attorneys at Liberty Law Group are experienced criminal defense lawyers and can deliver the right defense for you.

Our firm proudly serves Omaha in Douglas County, including Lincoln in Lancaster County, Papillion in Sarpy County, Fremont in Dodge County and Council Bluffs in Pattawattamie County, Iowa and the surrounding areas. If you or a loved one has been charged or is under investigation, don’t wait, call our firm immediately at (402) 865-0501 to request a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case.

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What is Kidnapping in Nebraska?

Under Nebraska Revised Statute 28-313, a person engages in kidnapping if they abduct another individual, or, having already abducted someone, continue to restrain them with bad intentions. The law clarifies these bad intentions to mean holding the person for ransom or reward, using them as a hostage or a shield, terrorizing them or another person, committing a felony, or interfering with the performance of any government function.

According to Nebraska Revised Statute 28-312, “abduct” is defined as restraining someone with the intent to prevent their freedom by holding them in a location where they are unlikely to be located, or by endangering the safety of any human being (or threatening to endanger). “Restrain” means to restrict a person’s movement in a way that substantially interferes with their freedom, either through force, threat, or deception, or, in the case of a person under the age of eighteen or who is incompetent, without the consent of their legal custodian.

Kidnapping and false imprisonment in Nebraska differ primarily in intent and severity. Kidnapping, under Nebraska Revised Statute 28-313, involves abduction as a key element. False imprisonment, on the other hand, under Nebraska Revised Statutes 28-314 and 28-315, is defined as knowingly restraining another without bad intentions and without abduction. A first degree false imprisonment charge involves terrorizing circumstances or risk of serious injury, while a second degree false imprisonment charge involves unlawful restraint without legal authority. Kidnapping is generally treated as a more serious offense with harsher penalties than false imprisonment.

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What are the Penalties for Kidnapping in Nebraska?

Under Nebraska Revised Statute 28-313, kidnapping is generally classified as a Class IA felony. This class of felony, according to Nebraska Revised Statute 28-105, carries the most severe punishment, which is potential life imprisonment.

However, if the abductor releases the individual kidnapped in a safe place without the individual having suffered serious injury, the classification of the offense changes to a Class II felony. Under Nebraska Revised Statute 28-105, a Class II felony carries a penalty of 1-50 years in prison.

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What are Some Defenses to Kidnapping Charges in Nebraska?

In Nebraska, specific defenses can be raised in kidnapping cases, as indicated in the statutes provided. One primary defense is the absence of intent. Since kidnapping requires an intent to hold for ransom, use as a hostage, terrorize, commit a felony, or interfere with government functions, proving the lack of such intent can be a valid defense. Another potential defense is consent. If the person allegedly kidnapped consented to the restraint or abduction, and if that person had the capacity to give informed consent, this can negate the kidnapping charge.

Another defense is the lawful authority to restrain or abduct. In certain circumstances, individuals or entities may have legal authorization to restrain others, such as in the case of law enforcement or guardians of minors. Demonstrating that the restraint was authorized can serve as a defense. Additionally, the defense of mistake of fact may be applicable if the accused had a reasonable belief that the situation did not constitute kidnapping, such as mistakenly believing they had legal authority or consent.

Lastly, the defense of duress could be used. This defense is applicable if the person committing the act was forced to do so under threat of immediate harm to themselves or others.

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How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Assist a Client Facing Kidnapping Charges

A criminal defense lawyer in Nebraska plays a key role for someone charged with kidnapping or other violent crimes. The lawyer evaluates the evidence and identifies possible weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. They offer legal advice, represent their client in court, and work to ensure their rights are protected throughout the legal process. The lawyer can negotiate with prosecutors for plea deals or argue for reduced charges, depending on the case’s merits. They also guide their client through the legal system and ensure they understand the proceedings and potential outcomes.

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Additional Resources

Nebraska State Patrol information on the State’s Amber Alert Program: Explains that all parts of the scenario must be present before activation of the alert system, including: A child 17 or younger, that the police believe is in danger of serious harm or death where there is enough information about the suspected abductor to allow the public to respond, and the notifying agency has had AMBER training, while noting that the plan is not intended for runaway or child custody situations.

Kidnapping Laws in Nebraska: The article notes that the state has two degrees of kidnapping crimes. Explains the elements that a prosecutor must establish to get a conviction for the offense with citations to relevant state laws. Notes that the Nebraska State Patrol is the source for information on missing persons in the state.

Rate of Annual Kidnappings in Nebraska: Compares regions of the state for incidents of the crime. Also compares state averages to national averages. Notes that the west part of Nebraska has about five kidnapping incidents in an average year compared to approximately 79 per year in the east parts of the state, while acknowledging the numbers ignore the differences in population between the areas.

Find a Kidnapping Defense Lawyer in Omaha, Nebraska

The violent crime of kidnapping carries with it devastating legal consequence. However, our expert criminal defense attorneys at Liberty Law Group are seasoned veterans in the area of Violent Crime and can provide the defense that you need.

If you or a loved one has been charged or is under investigation, don’t wait, call our firm immediately at (402) 865-0501 to request a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case.