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Kidnapping and Domestic Violence

Criminal Defense Lawyers Assisting Residents of Tacoma and Surrounding Areas

When the parents of a child cannot agree on custody arrangements, or one parent fails to abide by a court-imposed custody order, the situation can escalate from a mere disagreement to domestic violence kidnapping charges. A conviction of domestic violence kidnapping may not only affect your liberties but also significantly impair your parental rights. If you are charged with domestic violence kidnapping, it is critical to meet with a criminal attorney regarding the circumstances surrounding your arrest. The Tacoma domestic violence attorneys at the Law Offices of Smith & White, PLLC will work tirelessly to develop compelling arguments in your defense and help you strive to protect your liberties. We assist people charged with domestic violence kidnapping in cities throughout Pierce, King, Kitsap, and Thurston Counties.

Kidnapping in the Context of Domestic Violence Under Washington Law

Under Washington law RCW 10.99.020, certain crimes are considered domestic violence if they are committed against a member of a person’s household or family. Household and family members include anyone related by blood or marriage, spouses and former spouses, and people who parent a child together, regardless of whether they were ever married. Kidnapping in the first and second degrees are two of the many crimes listed in RCW 10.99.020 as crimes of domestic violence.

Kidnapping in the first degree is defined by RCW 9A.40.020, and kidnapping in the second degree is defined by RCW 9A.40.030. While numerous acts can result in a charge of kidnapping in the first degree, in the context of domestic violence, charges will typically be brought if a person abducts another person with the intent to inflict bodily injury or inflict extreme mental distress on either the person abducted or a third person. A person commits a kidnapping in the second degree if he or she intentionally abducts a person under circumstances that do not constitute kidnapping in the first degree. The majority of domestic violence kidnapping charges arise when one parent absconds with a child, either to attempt to retain custody or in defiance of a court order. If you are charged with a domestic violence kidnapping crime, it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case.

Penalties for a Domestic Violence Kidnapping Conviction

The penalties for a kidnapping conviction depend on the nature of the charge. Kidnapping in the first degree is a class A felony, for which the court can impose a punishment of up to life imprisonment and a fine of $50,000. In most cases, kidnapping in the second degree is a class B felony, except if the kidnapping was conducted with a sexual motivation, in which case it is a class A felony. A conviction of a class B felony can result in a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.

Defending Against Domestic Violence Kidnapping Charges

RCW 9A.40.030 provides a statutory defense for kidnapping in the second degree. Specifically, it states that in any case in which a person is charged with kidnapping in the second degree, it is a defense that the abduction was by a relative of the person abducted for the sole purpose of assuming custody, and it did not involve the use of deadly force or an intent to use deadly force. Thus, if you are accused of kidnapping in the second degree for the abduction of your child or another relative, you may be able to avoid a conviction if the abduction was to assume custody.

Speak With an Experienced Tacoma Attorney Regarding Your Criminal Charges

If you are charged with domestic violence kidnapping, it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced domestic violence defense lawyer regarding your charges and potential defenses. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Smith & White, PLLC will work tirelessly to provide you with a thorough and effective defense in hopes of helping you protect your liberties. We have an office in Tacoma, and we are available by appointment at a second office in Vashon. We can be contacted at 253-203-1645 or through our online form to set up a confidential and free meeting regarding your charges.

Client Reviews
I was represented by James White and have been nothing but satisfied with the outcome. Jame is very efficient and eliminates much of the stress that the judicial system can place on an offender. I am very grateful to have such a great attorney and owe him my gratitude for helping me when times were rough. Not only is he professional, but he is also someone you can talk to on a personal level. I highly recommend James White and would undoubtedly use him again in the future. If you are in search of an attorney, do yourself a favor and have the law offices of Smith & White represent you. Mike D.
I contacted James after my charge for reckless endangerment, and right from the start he was informative and reassuring. James worked hard to get me the best possible outcome, and was always very quick to return a call or text. He was straightforward and honest with me about my case, explaining both the good and the bad in a way that was reassuring without being misleading. Overall, I highly recommend Smith and White to anyone who is looking for the most professional representation in their legal matters. Matthew B.
Attorney James White was a beacon of hope for me at a time when my options appeared limited and the likeness of a satisfactory resolution seemed close to nothing. Not only was he able to defend me in a specific sticky situation in which I hired him for, I felt as though he also went above and beyond in efforts to provide me with the best outcome possible. His calm and professional demeanor offered such a great assurance to myself and those I care about around me. I am completely grateful for his service and I most definitely recommend Mr. White. Leyasha J.
Derek Smith guided us through a troubling legal situation with absolute professionalism. This was my first experience with a trial situation and Mr. Smith was able to address all of my questions and concerns in a way that helped address some of the fear I had regarding the legal system. Mr. Smith was highly effective during the trial and the result ended up in our favor. Legal troubles are scary and it was great knowing we had a fantastic legal team on our side to help navigate the somewhat confusing situation. My wife and I emphatically recommend this law firm. Steve B.
Mr. Smith was wonderful to work with. He was professional, knowledgeable and effective!! He takes the time to listen, which is amazing and can be a hard quality to find! He is informative and straight forward, which I truly appreciate! He was quite helpful on another matter that I asked his advise on. Thank you!!! Melika