In Victoria, the charge of Kidnapping is in section 63A of the Crimes Act 1958, and means detaining someone against their will and demanding a ransom for their safe release.
Has the Police accused you of Kidnapping? If yes, you should contact our firm to speak with one of defence lawyers to answer questions in a confidential setting.
Police interviewIt is important that you receive legal advice before speaking with Police about an allegation of Kidnapping. We can advise you about what should be said during a Police interview. The most important thing to remember is the Police are not on your side when they accuse you of a crime like Kidnaping. They are speaking with you hoping that you will make admissions. This is why you should speak with one of our lawyers first so we can advise you:
- How to handle the interview,
- What to expect during the interview process,
- What to expect after the Police interview.
Our lawyers can also attend the Police station with you to help you through the process.
Pleading not guiltyOur lawyers have successfully contested Kidnapping charges in the past. Our lawyers will prepare a case strategy for you to increase your prosepcts of an acquittal. We have in-house counsel who run our contested hearings and trials who can get involved from the beginning if you are accused of Kidnapping.
In a case like this, you want a lawyer who is going to consider – Is there relevant CCTV footage? Is there DNA evidence? Are there people who the Police have not spoken to who can shed some light on this case? Is there evidence which proves your innocence which needs to be preserved?
The answer to these questions can lead to a successful defence.
Pleading guiltyKidnapping is a serious charge which leads to a mandatory gaol sentence. We believe it is very important for our clients to understand what they are facing before deciding on how to proceed.
If you decide to plead guilty to Kidnapping, we can advise you how to prepare your plea to get the best possible outcome in Court. We will help you to arrange reports and documents that will help reduce your prison sentence. Call us and discuss how to get the best result.
Examples of Kidnapping
- A man kidnaps the daughter of a millionaire and demands that her father pay $100,000 for her release.
- A woman is a nanny and takes the child she cares for to another country without the parents’ permission.
What is the legal definition of Kidnapping?The Prosecution must prove that you took, enticed away or detained another person intentionally, to demand payment, or some other advantage from the detained person or any other person.
LegislationThe section that covers this offence is section 63A of the Crimes Act 1958.
Elements of the offenceAn accused may be found guilty of Kidnapping if the prosecution successfully proves the following:
- The accused led, took, or enticed away or detained any person (C); and
- The accused, in doing such an act, had an intent to demand from C or from any other person any payment by way of ransom for the return or release of C; or
- The accused, in doing such an act, had an intent to gain for themselves or for any other person any advantage (however arising) from the detention of C.
The accused may be found guilty if the intent to kidnap develops during the detention rather the beforehand.
What are some of the possible defences to a charge of Kidnapping?
- You did not take or detain anyone.
- You did not take or detain anyone and ask for money or gain an advantage.
Questions in cases like this
- What did you actually do?
- What do they think you did?
“Did you detain someone for money?”
The maximum penalty for Kidnapping (section 63A of the Crimes Act 1958) is level 2 imprisonment (25 years).
What can you be sentenced to for this charge?As this is a very serious offence, if you are found guilty you will generally receive a prison sentence.
Sentencing in the higher courtsFrom 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2016, there were 21 cases (39 charges) of Kidnapping that were heard in the higher courts of Victoria. Sentences imposed on these cases include Imprisonment (81%), Community Correction Order (9.5%), and Fine (9.5%).
Of the cases that led to imprisonment, majority were sentenced to a term that was between 5 and 6 years (35.3%). The highest term imposed was between 11 and 12 years (5.9%).1
 Sentencing Advisory Council. “SACStat Higher Courts – Crimes Act 1958 (Vic): s 63A – kidnapping.” SentencingCouncil.vic.gov.au. https://www.sentencingcouncil.vic.gov.au/sacstat/higher_courts/HC_6231_63A.html (accessed February 18, 2019).