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Is abduction the same offense as kidnapping in Ohio?

Any criminal charge filed against you is cause for concern, but some offenses pose severe penalties upon a conviction. Before you can mount a solid criminal defense, you must learn about and understand the charges you face.

Some offenses appear similar or even identical, but there are typically subtle differences that can affect the outcome of your case. For example, many people use the terms kidnapping and abduction interchangeably, but they are two separate crimes.

What constitutes abduction?

Loosely defined, abduction offenses involve the taking or removing of a person against their will, generally through threat, force or both. Under the specific Ohio abduction statute, other elements of abduction include:

  • Creating a risk of bodily harm to the victim
  • Taking the person out of sexual motivation
  • Holding the victim for involuntary servitude
  • Placing the person in fear (of injury, rape, death, etc.)

Abduction is always charged as a felony and is punishable by a prison sentence and the ordering of financial restitution.

What constitutes kidnapping?

Although quite similar, kidnapping charges usually involve victims that are younger than 13 and those suffering from mental health issues. State law deems it a first-degree felony to kidnap the victim for the following purposes.

  • To seek a ransom
  • To use as a hostage or shield
  • To terrorize or seriously harm a victim
  • To inflict sexual crimes (involuntary intercourse, etc.)
  • To hinder or interfere with government function or authority

Upon a conviction on kidnapping charges, defendants will likely face a lengthy prison sentence and court orders to pay victims financial restitution.

Act immediately to learn more about these offenses and your criminal defense options. The sooner you begin working on your defense, the better your odds of achieving a favorable outcome.