Kidnapping & False Imprisonment

False Imprisonment (Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-13-302)

False imprisonment gives rise to a civil claim for damages.  According to Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-13-302, A person commits the offense of false imprisonment who knowingly removes or confines another unlawfully so as to interfere substantially with the other’s liberty.  False imprisonment can be a relatively inoffensive, harmless restraint of another person.

False imprisonment is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 11 months and 29 days in jail and/or up to a $2,500 fine.  An individual alleging false imprisonment may sue for damages for the interference with her or his right to move freely.

Kidnapping (Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-13-303)

According to Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-13-303, Kidnapping is false imprisonment as defined in § 39-13-302, under circumstances exposing the other person to substantial risk of bodily injury.

Kidnapping is the crime of taking a person against their will to an undisclosed location.

The two key elements of kidnapping are (1) unlawful taking of the victim and (2) a wrongful motive like obtaining a ransom. The intent of the kidnapper is a decisive element in the crime of kidnapping. The physical taking or removal of a person from his/her home by the use of force, fraud, or coercion amounts to kidnapping.

Kidnapping is a Class C felony, punishable by three years up to fifteen years in prison, and a fine not to exceed $10,000 dollars.

Aggravated Kidnapping

According to Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-13-304, Aggravated kidnapping is false imprisonment, as defined in § 39-13-302, committed (1) to facilitate the commission of any felony or flight thereafter, (2) to interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function, (3) with the intent to inflict serious bodily injury on or to terrorize the victim or another, (4) where the victim suffers bodily injury, or (5) while the defendant is in possession of a deadly weapon or threatens the use of a deadly weapon.

Aggravated kidnapping is a Class B felony.  A person charged with this felony is punishable by anywhere from eight to thirty years in prison and a fine up to $25,000 dollars

Especially Aggravated Kidnapping

According to Tennessee Annotated Code § 39-13-305, Especially aggravated kidnapping is false imprisonment, as defined in § 39-13-302, (1) accomplished with a deadly weapon or by display of any article used or fashioned to lead the victim to reasonably believe it to be a deadly weapon, (2) where the victim was under the age of thirteen at the time of the removal or confinement, (3) committed to hold the victim for ransom or reward, or as a shield or hostage or (4) where the victim suffers serious bodily injury.

Especially aggravated kidnapping is a Class A felony, punishable by fifteen to sixty years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000 dollars.

However, if the offender voluntarily releases the victim alive or voluntarily provides information leading to the victim’s safe release, such actions shall be considered by the court as a mitigating factor at the time of sentencing.

Contact Our Firm

If you have been charged with or are being investigated for any of the above-referenced offenses, please contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at McKellar & Easter, Attorneys at Law, today. To make an appointment at any of our three offices — Knoxville, Tennessee; Nashville, Tennessee; and Atlanta, Georgia — call 865-566-0125 or send us an email. All initial telephone consultations are free and we accept credit cards.