Sometimes those facing arrest and imprisonment consider threatening to hurt an innocent person in order to manipulate the police into letting them free or to prevent officers from shooting them. But San Diego Violent Crimes Lawyers believe the public should know that anyone caught after taking a hostage will face additional charges and the penalties are very serious.
Laws Banning the Taking of Hostages
What the general public considers taking a hostage is defined as “false imprisonment of a hostage to avoid arrest” under the law. The crime applies whether you take a hostage on a high speed chase, threaten to hurt someone in order to avoid arrest or use someone as a human shield in order to avoid getting shot by the police. It is worth noting that if you take a hostage by force or fear and then travel a substantial distance, you will also face kidnapping charges -though the right San Diego criminal defense attorney may be able to have these charges dropped in a plea bargain.
Potential Penalties for Taking Hostages
Depending on the specifics of the crime, a person facing these felony charges will be subject to three, five or eight year prison sentence. These charges are very hard to fight and in most cases, the right move is simply a plea bargain to minimize the charges and penalties a defendant might face. That being said, there are some defenses to this crime. For example, if the alleged hostage consented to the situation, they were not subject to false arrest. Alternatively, this charge only applies if the person who took the hostage was trying to avoid arrest, so if there was no actual threat of arrest, these charges do not apply -although they could still be subject to other false imprisonment or kidnapping charges. It is important to discuss your case with your San Diego violent crimes attorney before speaking to the police so you can determine the right approach to the charges before you say something that might hurt your case.
If you have been accused of any violent crime, including false imprisonment of a hostage to avoid arrest, it is critical you work with a San Diego criminal lawyer. Please call (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024 to schedule a free initial consultation with Peter M. Liss.
Creative Commons Image by Daniel Lin