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Degrees of kidnapping in Missouri

| Jun 14, 2021 | Criminal Appeals |

Missouri law establishes several levels of kidnapping. All these crimes involve restraining someone or preventing their movement against that person’s will.

Review the different types of kidnapping in Missouri and possible penalties when facing these charges.

Non-family kidnapping

Removing a person’s freedom through unlawful restraint without consent constitutes third-degree kidnapping. Convicted individuals receive first-degree misdemeanor charges unless they took them out of state, which can result in Class E felony charges.

These elevated charges apply to kidnapping cases that put the victim at risk for severe physical harm. A convicted person could receive up to seven years in prison for this Class D felony.

These kidnapping charges involve taking a person to a second location against his or her will along with one of these circumstances:

  • Inducing terror or physical injury 
  • Committing another felony
  • Shielding oneself with the victim
  • Holding the victim hostage
  • Demanding ransom
  • Interfering with a political or government action

Missouri considers first-degree kidnapping a Class B felony. These charges also apply to any kidnapping case involving a child.

Family kidnapping

Missouri also has specific kidnapping crimes that involve relatives younger than 17. These include:

  • Interfering with custody, a misdemeanor with elevation to a felony if the offender takes the child out of state
  • Parental kidnapping, which ranges from a Class D to a Class B felony depending on how long the parent hides the child from his or her custodial parent or guardian

Missouri allows parents facing charges of kidnapping their own children to request restitution rather than a traditional sentence.

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