Kidnapping is against the law in California. It is also against the law to pretend to be a kidnapper in order to extort funds from another person. The court uses Penal Code 210 to prosecute this act.
Find out more about PC 210 below, including the legal definition of this charge and the charges used to prosecute actual kidnapping.
Facts About Extortion by Posing as a Kidnapper
PC 210 focuses on punishing individuals who pass themselves off as kidnappers. You do not have to actually kidnap anyone to face PC 210 charges. Individuals may face charges for extortion by posing as a kidnapper if they pretend to be:
- A kidnapper
- Someone who assisted a kidnapper
- Someone who detained another person against their will
- Someone who could arrange for the release of a kidnapped person
PC 210 charges only apply to individuals who pose as a kidnapper to obtain some kind of reward. For example, individuals may pretend to be kidnappers in order to get ransom money. In this situation, individuals could face felony charges.
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Penalties for a PC 210 Violation in California
Posing as a kidnapper to conduct extortion is a felony offense in California. This means individuals could face harsh penalties even if they do not kidnap anyone. The court may sentence individuals to up to four years in prison for a PC 210 conviction.
Felony charges also stay on an individual’s record after a conviction. Felons face numerous restrictions even after they get out of prison. For example, a felony conviction could impact where an individual lives or works in California.
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Information About California’s Kidnapping Charges
Pretending to be a kidnapper may lead to criminal charges. Carrying out an actual kidnapping may carry harsher penalties. California uses several laws to prosecute kidnapping. These charges include:
- California Penal Code §207: Kidnapping
- California Penal Code §208b: Kidnapping a Minor Child Under 14
- California Penal Code §209: Kidnapping for Ransom
- California Penal Code §209.5: Kidnapping During Carjacking
Some kidnapping charges are relatively minor and may lead to years of time in prison. Other charges, like PC 209, are considered “aggravated” kidnapping. Aggravated kidnapping convictions may lead to life in prison without parole.
Kidnapping occurs anytime one person forces another to move a significant distance against their will. Kidnappers generally use force or fear to make another person move. Force represents physical pressure to move. Fear may represent threats of physical force.
Find out more about kidnapping charges in California by contacting us at (310) 997-4688.
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Legal Defenses for Extortion by Posing as a Kidnapper
There are legal defenses available to you for PC 210 charges in California. A criminal defense lawyer may assess the specific facts before focusing on your defense. Depending on the situation, a lawyer could work to show that you:
Are Facing False Allegations
Sometimes individuals falsely accuse others of crimes in California. If you were falsely accused of pretending to be a kidnapper, a lawyer can help you show you never claimed to kidnap anyone. This could help you avoid a PC 210 conviction.
Thought You Could Help a Kidnap Victim
In some cases, you may discover a kidnapping. Perhaps you believed in good faith that you could help the victim get back to their family. If you did not take part in the kidnapping itself, a lawyer can help you.
Were Mistaken for Someone Else
Mistaken identity sometimes leads to PC 210 charges in California. Perhaps someone thought you were posing as a kidnapper because you resembled someone else. Allow a lawyer to gather evidence about your case to build your defense. We’re ready to help if you were accused of extortion by posing as a kidnapper.
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Get Help Handling Extortion by Posing as a Kidnapper Charges
Penal Code 210: Extortion by Posing as a Kidnapper charges are very serious. A conviction could lead to years in prison. Allow our criminal defense lawyers at the Simmrin Law Group to assist you. Reach out to us by completing our online contact form or by calling (310) 997-4688.
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