Kidnapping & Unlawful Imprisonment

Kidnapping and Unlawful Imprisonment charges are debilitating. The crime evokes images of abusive defendants holding innocent victims against their will. Also, the charges may involve domestic violence if the victim and defendant live together and/or were involved intimately. Fortunately, attorney Alexander Ransom understands that situations are not always what they seem. His efforts have successfully obtained dismissals for clients charged with kidnapping. Alexander provides the type of aggressive, experienced and effective representation his clients need to get kidnapping charges reduced or dismissed.

There are various types of Kidnapping and Unlawful Imprisonment charges. All can be charged as domestic violence if the victim was a roommate, family member or in a former/present dating relationship.

Kidnapping in the First Degree     RCW 9A.40.020

Kidnapping in the First Degree is a Class A Felony punishable up to a life sentence in prison and a $50,000.00 fine. The crime allegedly happens if a person “intentionally abducts another person with intent” to do any of the following:

  • To hold that person for ransom or as a hostage
  • To commit a felony crime
  • To inflict injury or harm on the victim
  • To inflict mental distress on the victim or on another person
  • To interfere with a government function.

Kidnapping in the Second Degree     RCW 9A.40.030

Kidnapping in the Second Degree is a Class B Felony punishable up to 10 years prison and a $20,000.00 fine. The crime happens if a person “intentionally abducts another person under circumstances not amounting to kidnapping in the first degree.” This definition is extremely vague. Many situations involving family members and loved ones could be interpreted as kidnapping under this description.

It is a substantive defense to the charge of Kidnapping in the Second Degree that the abduction does not include threats to use deadly force, and (b) the actor is a relative of the person abducted, and (c) the actor’s sole intent is to assume custody of that person.

Unlawful Imprisonment       RCW 9A.40.040

A person is guilty of Unlawful Imprisonment if they knowingly restrain another person. Unlawful Imprisonment is a class C felony exposing defendants to 5 years prison and a $10,000.00 fine.


Obviously, the sentences for Kidnapping and Unlawful Imprisonment charges are steep. Courts will not hesitate to impose these penalties – in addition to upward enhancements for more prison – for defendants who are convicted of these charges. Making matters worse, anyone charged with additional domestic violence charges will be subject to more consequences and a no-contact order against the alleged victim. For many, this means being unable to return home or see their children without supervision.

If you or someone you care about is charged with Kidnapping and/or Unlawful Imprisonment charges in Skagit County or Whatcom County, call attorney Alexander Ransom today for a free, no-pressure case evaluation. Alexander has a reputation in the legal community as an aggressive, effective and experienced criminal defense attorney. He understands what it takes to fight these charges and related domestic violence charges, if they apply. Contact Alexander today for a free consultation.