Understanding the scope and consequences of federal laws is a part of being an informed citizen. One such law that holds severe penalties is the federal kidnapping law.
You need to know the actions that can lead to federal kidnapping charges to stay within the bounds of the law.
Crossing state lines
One aspect of federal kidnapping charges is crossing state lines. If you confine someone against their will and cross state boundaries, you could face federal kidnapping charges. Even if the person willingly crosses the state line initially, it can become a kidnapping case if you later detain them against their will.
Seizing a person to further illegal activities
Engaging in kidnapping to further illegal activities, such as drug trafficking or organized crime, can lead to federal kidnapping charges.
Kidnapping involving foreign nationals
If you abduct a foreign diplomat or another person who is internationally protected, you can face federal kidnapping charges.
Hijacking and kidnapping
Hijacking an airplane, a ship or any other type of vehicle with passengers on board and confining them against their will can also lead to federal kidnapping charges. These charges can apply even if the vehicle does not cross state lines.
Abducting a child
If you abduct a child under the age of 18, and the child is not your own, you can face federal charges, particularly if you cross state lines during the abduction.
It is important to be aware of these different scenarios and avoid any behavior that might unintentionally put you on the wrong side of the law and lead to such serious charges.