Washington State Kidnapping Charges


If you, or someone you know, is facing a Washington state kidnapping offense the government must prove the elements of that crime beyond a reasonable doubt. These elements are laid out under the Washington State criminal statutes.

Washington state kidnapping charges are broad and serious. All kidnapping charges are felonies and include significant penalties.

If you have any questions about the elements of the Washington State kidnapping charges, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation.

Below is the Revised Code of Washington statutes (what the Washington State government most prove beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you of this crime and what we will defend you against):

9A.40.010 Definitions

The following definitions apply in this chapter:

(1) "Restrain" means to restrict a person's movements without consent and without legal authority in a manner which interferes substantially with his liberty. Restraint is "without consent" if it is accomplished by (a) physical force, intimidation, or deception, or (b) any means including acquiescence of the victim, if he is a child less than sixteen years old or an incompetent person and if the parent, guardian, or other person or institution having lawful control or custody of him has not acquiesced.

(2) "Abduct" means to restrain a person by either (a) secreting or holding him in a place where he is not likely to be found, or (b) using or threatening to use deadly force;

(3) "Relative" means an ancestor, descendant, or sibling, including a relative of the same degree through marriage or adoption, or a spouse.

9A.40.020 Kidnapping in the First Degree

(1) A person is guilty of kidnapping in the first degree if he intentionally abducts another person with intent:

(a) To hold him for ransom or reward, or as a shield or hostage; or

(b) To facilitate commission of any felony or flight thereafter; or

(c) To inflict bodily injury on him; or

(d) To inflict extreme mental distress on him or a third person; or

(e) To interfere with the performance of any governmental function.

(2) Kidnapping in the first degree is a class A felony.

9A.40.030 Kidnapping in the Second Degree

(1) A person is guilty of kidnapping in the second degree if he or she intentionally abducts another person under circumstances not amounting to kidnapping in the first degree.

(2) In any prosecution for kidnapping in the second degree, it is a defense if established by the defendant by a preponderance of the evidence that (a) the abduction does not include the use of or intent to use or threat to use deadly force, and (b) the actor is a relative of the person abducted, and (c) the actor's sole intent is to assume custody of that person. Nothing contained in this paragraph shall constitute a defense to a prosecution for, or preclude a conviction of, any other crime.

(3)(a) Except as provided in (b) of this subsection, kidnapping in the second degree is a class B felony.

(b) Kidnapping in the second degree with a finding of sexual motivation under RCW 9.94A.835 or 13.40.135 is a class A felony.

9A.40.040 Unlawful Imprisonment

(1) A person is guilty of unlawful imprisonment if he knowingly restrains another person.

(2) Unlawful imprisonment is a class C felony.

9A.40.060 Custodial Interference in the First Degree

(1) A relative of a child under the age of eighteen or of an incompetent person is guilty of custodial interference in the first degree if, with the intent to deny access to the child or incompetent person by a parent, guardian, institution, agency, or other person having a lawful right to physical custody of such person, the relative takes, entices, retains, detains, or conceals the child or incompetent person from a parent, guardian, institution, agency, or other person having a lawful right to physical custody of such person and:

(a) Intends to hold the child or incompetent person permanently or for a protracted period; or

(b) Exposes the child or incompetent person to a substantial risk of illness or physical injury; or

(c) Causes the child or incompetent person to be removed from the state of usual residence; or

(d) Retains, detains, or conceals the child or incompetent person in another state after expiration of any authorized visitation period with intent to intimidate or harass a parent, guardian, institution, agency, or other person having lawful right to physical custody or to prevent a parent, guardian, institution, agency, or other person with lawful right to physical custody from regaining custody.

(2) A parent of a child is guilty of custodial interference in the first degree if the parent takes, entices, retains, detains, or conceals the child, with the intent to deny access, from the other parent having the lawful right to time with the child pursuant to a court-ordered parenting plan, and:

(a) Intends to hold the child permanently or for a protracted period; or

(b) Exposes the child to a substantial risk of illness or physical injury; or

(c) Causes the child to be removed from the state of usual residence.

(3) A parent or other person acting under the directions of the parent is guilty of custodial interference in the first degree if the parent or other person intentionally takes, entices, retains, or conceals a child, under the age of eighteen years and for whom no lawful custody order or parenting plan has been entered by a court of competent jurisdiction, from the other parent with intent to deprive the other parent from access to the child permanently or for a protracted period.

(4) Custodial interference in the first degree is a class C felony.

9A.40.070 Custodial Interference in the Second Degree

(1) A relative of a person is guilty of custodial interference in the second degree if, with the intent to deny access to such person by a parent, guardian, institution, agency, or other person having a lawful right to physical custody of such person, the relative takes, entices, retains, detains, or conceals the person from a parent, guardian, institution, agency, or other person having a lawful right to physical custody of such person. This subsection shall not apply to a parent's noncompliance with a court-ordered parenting plan.

(2) A parent of a child is guilty of custodial interference in the second degree if:

(a) The parent takes, entices, retains, detains, or conceals the child, with the intent to deny access, from the other parent having the lawful right to time with the child pursuant to a court-ordered parenting plan; or

(b) the parent has not complied with the residential provisions of a court-ordered parenting plan after a finding of contempt under RCW 26.09.160(3); or

(c) if the court finds that the parent has engaged in a pattern of willful violations of the court-ordered residential provisions.

(3) Nothing in subsection (2)(b) of this section prohibits conviction of custodial interference in the second degree under subsection (2)(a) or (c) of this section in absence of findings of contempt.

(4)(a) The first conviction of custodial interference in the second degree is a gross misdemeanor. (b) The second or subsequent conviction of custodial interference in the second degree is a class C felony.

9A.40.080 Custodial Interference — Assessment of Costs — Defense — Consent Defense, Restricted

(1) Any reasonable expenses incurred in locating or returning a child or incompetent person shall be assessed against a defendant convicted under RCW 9A.40.060 or 9A.40.070.

(2) In any prosecution of custodial interference in the first or second degree, it is a complete defense, if established by the defendant by a preponderance of the evidence, that:

(a) The defendant's purpose was to protect the child, incompetent person, or himself or herself from imminent physical harm, that the belief in the existence of the imminent physical harm was reasonable, and that the defendant sought the assistance of the police, sheriff's office, protective agencies, or the court of any state before committing the acts giving rise to the charges or within a reasonable time thereafter;

(b) The complainant had, prior to the defendant committing the acts giving rise to the crime, for a protracted period of time, failed to exercise his or her rights to physical custody or access to the child under a court-ordered parenting plan or order granting visitation rights, provided that such failure was not the direct result of the defendant's denial of access to such person;

(c) The acts giving rise to the charges were consented to by the complainant; or

(d) The offender, after providing or making a good faith effort to provide notice to the person entitled to access to the child, failed to provide access to the child due to reasons that a reasonable person would believe were directly related to the welfare of the child, and allowed access to the child in accordance with the court order within a reasonable period of time. The burden of proof that the denial of access was reasonable is upon the person denying access to the child.

(3) Consent of a child less than sixteen years of age or of an incompetent person does not constitute a defense to an action under RCW 9A.40.060 or 9A.40.070.

9A.40.090 Luring

A person commits the crime of luring if the person:

(1)(a) Orders, lures, or attempts to lure a minor or a person with a developmental disability into any area or structure that is obscured from or inaccessible to the public or into a motor vehicle;

(b) Does not have the consent of the minor's parent or guardian or of the guardian of the person with a developmental disability; and (c) Is unknown to the child or developmentally disabled person.

(2) It is a defense to luring, which the defendant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant's actions were reasonable under the circumstances and the defendant did not have any intent to harm the health, safety, or welfare of the minor or the person with the developmental disability.

(3) For purposes of this section:

(a) "Minor" means a person under the age of sixteen;

(b) "Person with a developmental disability" means a person with a developmental disability as defined in RCW 71A.10.020.

(4) Luring is a class C felony.

9A.40.100 Trafficking

(1)(a) A person is guilty of trafficking in the first degree when:

(i) Such person:

(A) Recruits, harbors, transports, provides, or obtains by any means another person knowing that force, fraud, or coercion as defined in RCW 9A.36.070 will be used to cause the person to engage in forced labor or involuntary servitude; or

(B) Benefits financially or by receiving anything of value from participation in a venture that has engaged in acts set forth in (a)(i)(A) of this subsection; and (ii) The acts or venture set forth in (a)(i) of this subsection: (A) Involve committing or attempting to commit kidnapping; (B) Involve a finding of sexual motivation under RCW 9.94A.835; or

(C) Result in a death.

(b) Trafficking in the first degree is a class A felony.

(2)(a) A person is guilty of trafficking in the second degree when such person:

(i) Recruits, harbors, transports, provides, or obtains by any means another person knowing that force, fraud, or coercion as defined in RCW 9A.36.070 will be used to cause the person to engage in forced labor or involuntary servitude; or

(ii) Benefits financially or by receiving anything of value from participation in a venture that has engaged in acts set forth in (a)(i) of this subsection.

(b) Trafficking in the second degree is a class A felony.

9A.40.900 Construction — Chapter applicable to state registered domestic partnerships — 2009 c 521

For the purposes of this chapter, the terms spouse, marriage, marital, husband, wife, widow, widower, next of kin, and family shall be interpreted as applying equally to state registered domestic partnerships or individuals in state registered domestic partnerships as well as to marital relationships and married persons, and references to dissolution of marriage shall apply equally to state registered domestic partnerships that have been terminated, dissolved, or invalidated, to the extent that such interpretation does not conflict with federal law. Where necessary to implement chapter 521, Laws of 2009, gender-specific terms such as husband and wife used in any statute, rule, or other law shall be construed to be gender neutral, and applicable to individuals in state registered domestic partnerships.

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