In Victoria, kidnapping carries a maximum penalty of 25 years imprisonment. Frequently, the charge of kidnapping is also accompanied by other charges, such as, threats to kill, threats to inflict serious injury or assault. People are typically charged with this offence when they detain someone without their consent.
Penalties the Court can impose for this charge:
- Imprisonment (Jail – Full Time)
- Community Corrections Orders
- Adjourned undertaking
The Offence of Kidnapping:
The offence of kidnapping is contained in section 63A of the Crimes Act 1958 which states: Whosoever leads takes or entices away or detains any person with intent to demand from that person or any other person any payment by way of ransom for the return or release of that person or with intent to gain for himself or any other person any advantage (however arising) from the detention of that person shall, whether or not any demand or threat is in fact made, be guilty of an indictable offence and liable to level 3 imprisonment (25 years maximum).
What Actions Might Constitute Kidnapping?
- Detaining someone against their wishes with the intention of making a demand for money to release the person;
- Transporting someone somewhere against their wishes and making a demand for property to release the person;
- Taking a child in contravention of a Parenting Order made by a Court and demanding that the other parent stop a court proceedings.
What the Police Must Prove:
To convict you of kidnapping, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That you led, took, enticed or detained another person; and,
- That you did this with the intent to:
- Demand from that person or someone else payment by way of ransom for the return or release of that person; or,
- Gain for yourself or any other person an advantage from that detention.
The Police do not need to prove that you actually did make a demand or threat. The Police only need to prove that you intended to make such a demand or threat.
Possible Defences for Kidnapping
Possible defences to a kidnapping charge include but are not limited to:
- Lack of Intent;
- Factual Dispute.
Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?
Kidnapping is an indictable offence which must be heard in the County Court of Victoria.