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Abduction & Kidnapping Attorneys Fairfax, Northern VA

Kidnapping, also referred to as abduction, is a serious crime in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Abduction is defined by Virginia law as the act of taking or holding a person against their will, whether through force, threat, or deception. Abductions can be divided into two types: those with and those without the intention of defiling. The act of kidnapping someone with the intent to defile them is referred to as "committing a sexual offense against them. A Class 2 felony conviction for this offense carries a sentence of up to life in prison. Abduction without intent to defile is the act of taking or holding someone against their will without planning to commit a sexual offense. This crime is a Class 5 felony, which carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence.

Under Virginia Code Section 18.2-49.1, there are also times when a parent or guardian may be charged for violating a court order if they knowingly and wrongfully withhold a child from having their court-ordered visitation.

It’s crucial to remember that Virginia law offers several affirmative defenses to an accusation of kidnapping. By demonstrating, for instance, that the alleged victim gave consent or that the defendant acted in good faith, believing they had the authority to take or detain the alleged victim, one may successfully contest an accusation of abduction. A person found guilty of abduction in Virginia may also face civil liability in addition to criminal penalties. In particular, the victim might be able to file a civil lawsuit against the defendant to recover losses brought on by the kidnapping.

Overall, kidnapping is a serious crime in Virginia, with serious criminal and civil repercussions. It's crucial to speak with a skilled criminal defense lawyer in Virginia if you have been accused of kidnapping or are dealing with any related legal issues.

See Article 3, Kidnapping and Related Offenses, of the Code of Virginia.