Kidnapping, Abduction and False Imprisonment in Nevada

The act of kidnapping in Las Vegas, Nevada is a serious crime. It’s best to contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible if you or a friend is charged with kidnapping.


Definition and penalties

Kidnapping is defined by Nevada law as the act of taking a person from a location to another without their consent or against their will. Confining an individual to a controlled space that limits their freedom also falls under kidnapping or abduction. Aiding or abetting someone in the act of kidnapping carries the same penalties as the act itself.


Kidnapping definition and penalties

Kidnapping is categorized into the first-degree and second-degree:

First-degree kidnapping

Kidnapping is classified as first-degree if the perpetrator “willfully seizes, confines, inveigles, entices, decoys, abducts, conceals, kidnaps or carries away a person” with the intent to either

  • Inflict bodily harm;
  • Kill the person;
  • Hold the person for ransom, extortion or robbery whether it be money or valuable property;
  • To commit sexual assault, rape and other sex related crimes.


First-degree kidnapping is a category A felony. The severity of the punishments will be more severe if the victim suffered grievous harm during kidnapping or detainment.

If the victim has been grievously harmed, the penalties will vary from:
  • Life in prison without the possibility of parole;
  • Life in prison with the possibility of parole after a minimum of 15 years has been served;
  • 40 years in prison, with parole possible after 15 years.
If the victim has not been grievously harmed, the penalties will vary from:
  • Life in prison with parole possible after 5 years in prison;
  • 15 years in prison with parole possible after 5 years.
If the victim has not been grievously harmed, the penalties will vary from:


Second-degree kidnapping

In comparison, second-degree kidnapping involves moving an individual only with the intent to imprison, detain or take custody of them against their will.


Second-degree kidnapping is classified as a category B felony and usually carries the following penalties:

  • 2 to 15 years in a state prison and/or fines up to $15,000;
  • If it was aiding or abetting, 2 to 15 years in prison without any fines.


Child custody kidnapping

Parents, relatives and legal guardians of the child can be accused of kidnapping even if they have custodial rights and/or if the child willingly went with them.


Child custody kidnapping is usually classified as a category D felony and carries the following penalties:

  • 1 to 4 years in prison;
  • Fines not exceeding $5,000.

If this is the defendant’s first offense and if the child did not receive any grievous harm, the prosecutor may instead recommend that it should be sentenced as a misdemeanor and only carry the following penalties:

  • 6 months in jail and/or;
  • Fines reaching $1,000.


False imprisonment

False imprisonment is the unlawful confinement or impression of confinement of an individual without sufficient legal authority. Possible scenarios include: holding hostages in a bank robbery, detaining a suspected shoplifter, robbery in a home.


False imprisonment is usually classified as a gross misdemeanor, with the defendant ordered to pay for damages sustained by the person imprisoned. Other circumstances like the use of deadly weapons can result in severe penalties.

Fugitive without a deadly weapon
  • Category B felony;
  • 1 to 6 years in state prison.
Fugitive using the imprisoned as a shield or to avoid arrest
  • Category B felony;
  • Imprisonment in a state prison for 1 to 15 years
Fugitive using a deadly weapon
  • Category B felony;
  • 1 to 20 years in the state prison.


Use of deadly weapon

Using a deadly weapon in the act of kidnapping can add an additional 1 to 20 years in prison to the penalty, if the extra time doesn’t exceed the underlying sentence. It also removes any chances of being granted probation.


Defenses used in kidnapping charges

Criminal defense attorneys can get kidnapping sentences lowered or dismissed by proving to the court that the defendant:

  • Has no intent to kidnap the alleged victim.
  • The “victim” gave consent to the defendant. However, consent cannot be used as a defense if their consent was affected by threats, duress or fraud.
  • Insufficient evidence to show that the defendant did the alleged crime.
  • No asportation, meaning the alleged victim was not transported anywhere.


In need of a kidnapping defense lawyer?

Each case is unique, and it’s even more so when it comes to kidnapping charges. Contact us, so our criminal defense lawyer will evaluate your case and defend you from these kidnapping charges.