What Constitutes Kidnapping in Oklahoma?

kidnapping in OklahomaKidnapping in Oklahoma is defined as seizing, confining, inveigling, abducting, or carrying a person away without legal authority to do so, and with the intent to confine a person against their will, send them out of state against their will, hold them for some sort of service, or sell that person into slavery. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 741

Kidnapping in Oklahoma Defined

Like all crimes, kidnapping in Oklahoma has particular elements, all of which a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt. If any one element is left unproven, there can be no conviction.

Here are the elements under Oklahoma law:

  • unlawfully
  • seizes, confines, inveigles, decoys, kidnaps, abducts, or carries away
  • another person; and
  • with the intent to confine, imprison, send out of state, sell into slavery, hold that person to service against that person’s will.

OUJI-CR 4-110

Kidnapping in Oklahoma includes a number of possible scenarios.

The law includes child abduction and the removal of a child by one parent from the state without the permission of the other parent. This can happen when parents are separated or divorced. This kind of kidnapping may be inadvertent, but still in violation of the law.

Oklahoma law specifically addresses kidnapping for the purposes of selling a person or forcing them into servitude.

Though we may not want to think about human trafficking, it is a growing problem. In particular, sex trafficking is a growing crime in the United States. In some ways, it is the new American slavery.

The taking or confining must be unlawful. In this context, unlawful means that either the person who confines another lacks the legal or domestic authority to do so or does so through fraud to induce consent.

Defenses

Kidnapping in Oklahoma is a specific intent crime. The intent must be one of the four listed in the statute. That means that the taking or confining must be done with the intent to:

  • confine a person against their will;
  • send them out of state against their will;
  • hold them for some sort of service; or
  • sell that person into slavery.

If the prosecution cannot prove intent, there can be no conviction. Thus, any evidence that shows that none of these intents were present, that can be used in your defense.

Consent is a tricky defense, but available in some circumstances.

Consent of the person to the kidnapping is not a valid defense unless the person is over the age of 12 and the consent was not obtained with the use of threat or duress. It is also considered kidnapping if the kidnapper used fraud to induce the consent to confinement.

Acting under authority may provide another defense. Kidnapping in Oklahoma only occurs when the carrying away is unlawful.

If you are acting under the color of authority, there is no kidnapping. Authority can confer a level of legal permission for the carrying away.

Penalties for Kidnapping in Oklahoma

Kidnapping in Oklahoma is a felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

If the kidnapping involved sexual abuse or exploitation, the offender will be mandated to post-imprisonment supervision once he or she is released from prison. In some cases, the offender will be sentenced to life in prison or life in prison without parole.

If you are facing kidnapping in Oklahoma charges, you should hire an experienced Tulsa criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Explore your possible defenses with your attorney as he or she guides you through the legal system and protects your freedom.

Free Consultation with a Tulsa Lawyer

If you would like a free consultation with a Tulsa, Oklahoma lawyer, call Wirth Law Office – Tulsa at 918-879-1681 or toll free at 1-888-Wirth-Law (1-888-947-8452).

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