Kidnapping in South Carolina

by | Feb 19, 2018 | Blog Posts, SC Criminal Defense

Kidnapping in South Carolinakidnapping

Kidnapping is a very serious crime that comes with some serious consequences.  Criminal Law varies from state to state and the punishments elements of the crime, and other considerations may be vastly different depending on the jurisdiction.   When it comes to South Carolina criminal law, Kidnapping is governed under South Carolina General Statute 16-3-910.


In general, Kidnapping is the crime of taking a person against their will to an undisclosed location or any other location in which they do not wish to be present.  The reason that this was done may be a factor in determining the severity of the sentencing.  For example, if the kidnapping is done in furtherance of another crime, or for the purpose of collecting ransom, it may be different than if it was done in connection with a dispute with regard to child custody.

Like all state criminal law, the burden is on the government to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime.

Specific to South Carolina, the statute states:

“Whoever shall unlawfully seize, confine, inveigle, decoy, kidnap, abduct or carry away any other person by any means whatsoever without authority of law, except when a minor is seized or taken by his parent, is guilty of a felony.

The state would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That there was an abduction, carrying away, confinement or detention of a person; and
  • That there was not legal justification or cause for the abduction, carrying away, confinement or detention of the person

Sentencing for Kidnapping in South Carolina

According to South Carolina Law, upon conviction of Kidnapping, the defendant must be imprisoned for a period not to exceed thirty years unless sentenced for a murder that occurred as a result of the kidnapping.  This means that the sentencing judge has a good deal of latitude, and the main considerations will be the facts and the circumstances surrounding the kidnapping.

Other consequences of the crime of Kidnapping

If any other crimes occur during the course of the kidnapping, the defendant may be held responsible for those as well.  Further, if a sex crime or sexual abuse takes place in relation to the kidnapping, the defendant may be required to be placed on the sex offender registry.

South Carolina criminal law can be very complicated, and South Carolina criminal lawyers are trained to interpret and apply them.  If you need criminal defense attorneys serving the Charlotte area in North Carolina or South Carolina, we may be able to help.  Contact us.

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