Abduction takes place when one person holds another prisoner. However in determining whether or not a crime took place, Pennsylvania takes into account your intentions. Every case is unique, and if you are charged with abduction your side of the story needs to come out clearly. If you have been questioned by the police or arrested, it’s essential that you immediately retain an experienced defense attorney who understands abduction law.
What You Need To Know About Abduction
Abduction, called criminal coercion in the Pennsylvania criminal code, occurs when someone intentionally restricts the freedom of another person, and threatens to do one or more of the following:
- Commit a criminal offense
- Accuse anyone of a criminal offense
- Expose a secret that would subject someone to hatred, contempt or ridicule
- Take or withhold action as an official, or cause an official to take or withhold action
Criminal coercion is a misdemeanor of the second degree. However if the offender threatens to commit a felony or their intent is felonious, it can be graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree.
The most important defense you can provide for an abduction charge is that you honestly believed that the reason you were holding the person was true – that you held them to expose their criminal offense or a prevent exposing a secret that would cause hatred or ridicule – and your action was justified. Your intent was limited to compelling the other person to behave in a reasonable way, to stop them from misbehavior, and to make good on a wrong that was done.
What To Do If You Are Charged
If you are charged with abduction, do not anger the arresting officer unnecessarily.
You will probably be held in jail overnight. At this stage, do not discuss what happened with the police or claim your innocence.
- As with most criminal charges, you should not talk to the police or prosecutors without your attorney by your side. What you say can be taken out of context and used against you.
- If the police question you, tell them you want a lawyer and politely refuse to answer their questions.
What Your Lawyer Can Do
Your attorney will carefully review every aspect of your case to determine if there is evidence for all you have been accused of.
- Your attorney will investigate to find out if there is evidence that the alleged victim came with you willingly.
- If it is a you-said/they-said situation, where the only evidence against you is an accusation, you will be in a stronger position.
- Your lawyer will make every effort to discredit any evidence not in your favor.
- If the case goes to court, your lawyer will try to prove to the jury that you that you restricted the other person’s freedom because you believed doing so would stop them from misbehavior.
Your lawyer will be looking at every avenue that can help you, so it’s important that you give them all of the information that can support your case.
How A Lawyer Will Help
When you are up against an abduction charge, even before your first hearing you will be facing a determined prosecutor and Pennsylvania’s strict abduction laws. You need an attorney who will stand by you every step of the way, work hard to discredit any evidence – and work with you to determine your best course of action.
Pennsylvania Abduction Law
Criminal coercion is described and defined under The Pennsylvania Criminal Code under Title 18, Chapter 29. Read the code here.
Questions? Contact us today.
Based on the evidence, Fienman Defense will try to show that the charges should be dismissed. If it’s in your best interest, we will work to negotiate a lesser sentence. Should the case go to trial, we will fight to present the strongest defense possible for your situation.