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Kidnapping is an offense which negatively affects all parties involved. This offense can be committed against children and adults alike, and requires no ill-intent or criminal purpose. A kidnapping offense can be committed by a parent, guardian, or by a stranger.

This crime typically involves some type of harm to the victim resulting in additional charges. Regardless of the actor’s reasons or intent, kidnapping carries a stigma that is nearly impossible to erase.

If you or someone you know is charged with kidnapping, you need a dedicated attorney with a history of aggressive defense strategy working on your behalf.

Kidnapping Information Center

  • What is kidnapping?
  • What are the penalties for kidnapping?
  • What is aggravated kidnapping?

What is kidnapping?

Utah code §76-5-301 defines kidnapping as:

  • The illegal and intentional or knowing detaining or restraint of a victim for any period of time against his or her will;
  • Detaining or restraint of a victim in circumstances exposing the victim to risk of bodily injury;
  • Holding of a victim in involuntary servitude;
  • Detaining or restraint of a minor, between the ages of 14 and 18, without his parent or legal guardian’s consent; or
  • Movement of a victim any substantial distance across a state line.

What are the penalties for kidnapping?

Kidnapping is a second-degree felony punishable by a maximum of 15 years imprisonment and up to $5,000. In addition to the legal consequences, kidnapping charges carry a social stigma which is more difficult to remove.

Whether the act is committed by a close family member with no additional felonious activities, or an aggravated kidnapping, this offense requires registry on Utah’s Sex Offender and Kidnap Offender Notification and Registration Website except in the case that the actor is a natural parent.

Information provided on the kidnap offender registry is public information available to anyone with access to the site. This may feel extremely invasive for those listed on the registry.

What is aggravated kidnapping?

Utah code §76-5-302 enhances a kidnapping charge to an aggravated kidnapping charge when:

  • During a kidnapping, the actor possesses, uses, or threatens to use a dangerous weapon; or when he or she intends to:
  • Hold a victim for ransom or as a hostage;
  • Facilitate or attempt the commission, or flight after commission or attempted commission of a felony;
  • Hinder or delay discovery of or reporting a felony;
  • Inflict bodily injury or to terrorize the victim or another;
  • Interfere with performance of any governmental or political function; or
  • Commit a sexual offense in §76-5-4.

This offense is increased to a first-degree felony punishable by 15 years to life imprisonment in addition to $10,000 in fines.

Protective Orders

For victims of domestic violence, finding a way to feel safe again may be a daunting task. Protective orders are designed to alleviate some of that stress. Victims of domestic violence have the option of obtaining protective orders against their abusers.

Protective orders allow survivors of domestic violence to feel a sense of comfort again. These orders can protect an individual against numerous circumstances in which contact with an abuser may be otherwise inevitable.

An attorney can work with you to file for a protective order which can help you get your life and peace of mind back.

Protective Order Information Center

  • Protective Order Defined
  • Scope of a Protective Order

Protective Order Defined

Utah Code §78B-7-103 states that any cohabitant subjected to abuse or domestic violence, or to whom there is a substantial likelihood of abuse or domestic violence, may seek an ex parte protective order or a protective order in accordance with this chapter.

An individual may file for the protector order whether or not he or she has left the residence in an effort to avoid further abuse. He or she may also file regardless of whether an action for divorce between the parties is pending.

Petitions for protective orders may not withdrawn without court approval.

Scope of a Protective Order

Protective orders are categorized depending on the act they are intended to prevent or perform. Listed below are some of the areas protective orders may cover:


Abuse or Danger of Abuse-Protective Order:

These types of protective orders are granted by courts to victims of domestic abuse. Under this protective order, cohabitant abusers are barred from committing violence, threatening violence, harassing, or contacting a cohabitant domestic violence victim and any designated family or household member listed in the order.

Ex parte protective orders may also be accompanied by child support or spouse support orders which may require immediate income withholding or a written agreement providing alternative payment arrangements to the victim.


Child Protective Order:

Child protective orders are intended to protect a child in imminent danger of being abused, or who is currently being abused. Any interested person may file a petition on behalf of said child; however, the adult filing on the child’s behalf must first make a referral to the division.

The court will review the petition and determine whether the minor is being abused or in danger of imminent danger according to the evidence available. If the court finds child abuse or danger of child abuse, a protective order will be granted.


Dating Violence Protective Order:

Protective orders of this kind can be obtained by anyone substantially likely to be subjected to abuse or dating violence by a dating partner. An individual may obtain a protective order of this sort whether or not he or she has ended the relationship.

A person seeking this order may also include another person in the petition if the initial party meets the aforementioned requirements and the other party is a family or household member substantially likely to be subjected to abuse by the dating partner of the petitioner.

Free Consultation with Kidnapping Lawyer

If you’ve been charged with kidnapping, please call Ascent Law now for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506