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KIDNAPPING, PC 207(a)[Single Victim]

Kidnapping, PC 207(a), is a serious charge in California criminal court and is always charged as a felony. Although we think of kidnapping as one person tying another person up and then taking them to an undisclosed location, the crime of Kidnapping, PC 207(a), can actually be much simpler than that. A top criminal lawyer will help prove your innocence in a complicated kidnapping case.

NOTE: For Kidnapping, PC 207(a), there is also a version of the charge that applies when there is more than one victim or more than one occasion, but for purposes of this page, we will focus on Kidnapping, PC 207(a), as it applies to only one victim and one occasion.


For a defendant to be guilty of kidnapping, the prosecutor must prove that:

  1. the defendant unlawfully moved, or made the person move, or detained the person, using force or any means of instilling fear
  2. the victim did not consent and the defendant knew that there was no consent
  3. the distance was substantial and not just slight or trivial

Jail Time

A conviction of Kidnapping, PC 207(a), carries a maximum sentence of 8 years in state prison.


Kidnapping, PC 207(a), is a strike because it is a violent felony.


  1. The other person consented to being moved.

Let’s say a Jim, who is 17, wants to go to a party with some older people because he thinks it would be fun to hang out with them at a “grownup” party. Jim asks his friend Lisa, who is 21, to take him to a rave. Later, upon hearing what happened, Jim’s parents become angry at Lisa for taking Jim to the rave because he is underaged. In this case, Lisa may have violated some other law, but certainly not kidnapping. Jim consented to going with Lisa and was not in fear of Lisa whatsoever.

2. The movement was not substantial.

Chris and John are roommates. They get into a heated argument over the late fee for the cable bill. When John admits that he had forgotten to make the payment, Chris, who is twice John’s size, screams at the top of his lungs and grabs John by the shoulders. He then forces John to walk over to the computer and yells, “You make that payment right now!!” In this scenario, Chris has not moved his roommate John a substantial distance. Although is true that John did not consent to being moved, and he was in fear of Chris, this does not qualify as Kidnapping, PC 207(a). Chris may be guilty of a different charge (perhaps battery), but not Kidnapping, PC 207(a).

3. Mistaken identity

As with other types of crimes, kidnapping incidents almost always happen very quickly, and oftentimes in the dark. Because of this, misidentification happens all the time. During a kidnapping, the suspect is not going to stick around so that others can easily identify them. They are going to try to flee the scene as quickly as possible. If you have the same body type, or if you happen to be of the same race as a suspect, and you just happen to be close to the scene, your chances of being wrongly accused are going to be higher.

4. False allegations

In a heated argument, when emotions are running high, it is not uncommon for one party to accuse the other party of taking them against their will, even if it is not true. A top criminal defense lawyer will fight to show that you in fact did not take or detain someone against their will and that you are not guilty of Kidnapping, PC 207(a).

Kidnapping, PC 207(a), cases are some of the messiest cases because they involve consent, a person’s intent, whether or not there was fear, and other factors that are usually very unclear. A top criminal lawyer will analyze the evidence and fight to prove that you indeed did not take anyone against their will or use fear to do so. We take pride in being detailed and working closely with our clients to prove their innocence. We are located in Orange County but also serve LA County, Riverside County, San Bernardino, and all of southern California. We conduct business with our clients both in person and remotely. Our phone number is 213-235-7969 and we look forward to discussing your case with you.

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