February 21, 2024
Having your child removed from your care is a traumatic experience for everyone involved. Unfortunately for some, it’s an experience that can cause them to make rash decisions that will impact their entire lives.
A woman in Colorado was recently arrested for attempting to kidnap her own son. Her child had initially been removed from her custody. According to some sources, that caused her to spiral down a QAnon rabbit hole, ultimately leading to the attempt to kidnap her own child.
While every parent has rights under the law, even when their child has been removed from their care, kidnapping is never the answer. Here are the charges someone could be facing if they attempt to kidnap a child in Colorado.
Kidnapping According to Colorado Law
In Colorado, kidnapping is divided into two degrees: first-degree kidnapping and second-degree kidnapping. Second-degree kidnapping occurs when a person knowing seizes and carries someone else from one place to another without lawful justification or their consent.
When Second-Degree Kidnapping is Charged
This charge can also be filed when a person entices, lures, or takes a child away with the intent to conceal or keep them from their guardians or parents. Another scenario may involve the intention to barter, trade, or sell the child.
What Elevates a Charge to First-Degree Kidnapping
First-degree kidnapping differs from second-degree because it has additional elements. These include forcibly seizing a victim or carrying them from one place to another, persuading or enticing someone to go from one place to another, or forcibly keeping/imprisoning a person.
Basically, the difference between first and second-degree kidnapping is the intent to secure a type of concession for the return of the victim. In either case, Colorado recognizes any type of kidnapping as a serious felony.
Colorado Kidnapping Penalties
When it comes to penalties for kidnapping in Colorado, the circumstances surrounding the case will have a bearing on the punishments enacted.
If the crime posed substantial harm or risk to society, then it’s considered an “extraordinary risk.” Due to this fact, kidnapping may result in more serious penalties than other felonies.
Sometimes kidnapping is also considered a crime of violence. It is considered this type of crime when the possession of a deadly weapon is involved. Even threatening someone with a deadly weapon during the commission of the crime is enough.
If any serious bodily injury or death actually occurs in relation to the crime, charges and penalties will both likely be enhanced, if convicted as well.
Second-Degree Kidnapping Penalties in Colorado
This crime is a Class 4 felony if there are no aggravating factors present. The punishment can be as many as eight years in prison and fines of $500,000.
Penalties are enhanced if there are factors such as kidnapping done for the purpose of trading, bartering, or selling the victim. In these cases, the penalty can be as many as 16 years in prison and fines of $750,000 or as many as 32 years if a deadly weapon was used or possessed.
Parental Rights When a Child Is Removed from Custody
- Knowing why your child was removed from your care
- Understand what must be done to have your child returned to you
- The right for an attorney to represent you
- Be informed of the time and date of every court hearing regarding your case
- Receive updates about your child’s health and development
Know that you have legal options and remedies, and if you have questions about your particular situation, an experienced legal professional is someone who can provide you with the right advice.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been recognized by countless legal organizations for his exemplary defense work, including Avvo, Best DWI Attorneys, Expertise, Lawyers of Distinction, The National Trial Lawyers, and others. He was also named one of the 10 Best in Client Satisfaction in Colorado by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys for 2020 and is Lead Counsel rated.