The Law on Kidnapping/Abduction in Georgia and
Definition of Kidnapping in Georgia
According to the laws of Georgia, kidnapping is a serious offense. It is defined as the abducting a person against her wishes, without lawful authority, without a legal warrant, and confining him to a controlled space. The punishment given for a person who kidnapped another person is severe.
According to Section 16-5-40 of the Georgia code, a person is considered to have been kidnapped by another person if he was moved from one place to another person. Even a slight movement of the victim is enough to charge the kidnapper for kidnapping under Section 16-5-40.
Under the laws of kidnapping in force in Georgia, kidnapping is also called as asportation. However, an act where the victim is moved from one place to the other is not considered kidnapping if it is incidental while committing another crime like robbery. Some of the situations when the movement of the victim is not considered kidnapping include:
- Conceals or isolates a victim without any deliberate objective of abducting him
- An act that makes it very easy to commit another crime
- An act that reduces the risk of detection
- An act whose objective is avoiding apprehension by the law enforcement authorities.
Punishment for Kidnapping in Georgia
Kidnappers receive severe punishment under the laws of Georgia. Substantial penalties are imposed on the person who is convicted of kidnapping/abducting another person. The punishment for kidnapping a person against his wishes is a prison sentence ranging between ten to twenty years. In case the victim is less than 14 years old, the kidnapper will receive a prison sentence ranging between twenty years to life imprisonment with the option for parole.
Kidnappers generally repeat their offenses. Repeat offenders will be given longer sentences by the judges. But in the case of a fourth felony conviction (for kidnapping a person), the convict will receive a life sentence in prison without a chance for parole.
Punishment through Probation
In some cases of kidnapping, the judge can order the sentence to be served through probation. The judges consider a number of factors while deciding whether the accused is a suitable candidate for probation. These factors include drug history, past criminal history, past service to the community, etc.
Punishment for Bodily Injury during Kidnapping
If the victim receives bodily injury when he is kidnapped or the objective of kidnapping is extracting ransom, the kidnapper will be punished with a death penalty or life imprisonment without any chance for parole.
The person who abducted another person can get relief from getting prosecuted for kidnapping if any of the following defenses could be proved:
- Protecting a child from imminent harm
- The victim was not moved from one place to the other
- An act of mistake
- An act committed with the consent of the victim
- An act committed innocently
- A mistake in understanding the age of the person, if the victim is less than 14 years old.
Acts that do not constitute a defense Kidnapping
The kidnapper cannot claim defense under any of the following cases.
- The victim was only moved a little when he was kidnapped
- The victim was not physically injured
- The kidnapper did not complete the crime.