Simple kidnapping is defined in Penal Code section 207. In order to prove that a kidnapping took place, the prosecution needs to prove that:
- The defendant unlawfully moved a person by use of force or by any other means instilling fear.
- The defendant moved the victim without his or her consent.
- The defendant moved the victim for a substantial distance, that is, a distance more than slight or trivial.
Simple kidnapping is punishable by 3, 5, or 8 years in state prison. Kidnapping is a violent felony, so a person convicted of kidnapping would not be eligible for half time credits in prison and any state prison time would have to be served at 85%.
Kidnapping a child under 14 years old is punishable by 5, 8, or 11 years in state prison.
Kidnapping for ransom or extortion is punishable by 7 years to life in state prison.
Kidnapping for ransom or extortion which results in bodily injury is punishable by life in prison without the possibility of parole.