Serious accusations can stem from witnessed events, misunderstandings, false information or even outright lies. Unfortunately, you may have ended up in a situation where authorities charged you with a crime based on the accusations and claims of another person. While you may know the claims to be false, you now face a serious ordeal that could have lasting effects on your reputation at the minimum and your entire life at the maximum.
If you face claims of kidnapping in North Carolina, you know that your situation is severe. Often, authorities act on the word of alleged victims when investigating and making arrests in this type of scenario. While testimony can certainly play a significant part in a criminal case, not everyone tells the truth.
How does the state handle kidnapping charges?
Kidnapping laws differ in each state. In North Carolina, one of two charges could result from a suspected kidnapping case, both of which are felony charges. If one releases a victim to a safe place and he or she did not suffer any serious injuries or face a sexual assault, second-degree kidnapping charges would apply, which is a Class E felony. If one does not release a victim to a safe place, and he or she suffers serious harm or experiences sexual assault, a first-degree kidnapping charge — a Class C felony — could result.
Essentially, the charge could come about if someone illegally confines a person under the age of 16 or moves that person from one place to another without his or her consent or the consent of a parent or guardian. Additionally, if the purpose of the confinement involves holding the victim hostage, for trafficking purposes, for involuntary servitude or other purposes, specific statutes under state law apply.
Creating a defense
Contending with a kidnapping accusation is no easy ordeal to face. Fortunately, you do not have to fear that you have no way out of this situation. You have the right to create and present a meaningful defense against any allegations, and exploring your options for defense could prove helpful to you. You may be able to argue that the alleged victim consented to going with you or that some mistake occurred. You could also argue that you acted under duress if applicable.
Though it may seem overwhelming to try to figure out this predicament, you do not have to feel hopeless.