In Oklahoma, kidnapping, under 21 OS Section 741, states any person who, without lawful authority, seizes, confines, inveigles, decoys, kidnaps, abducts, or carries away another person, with intent to (1) cause such other person to be confined or imprisoned in Oklahoma against the will of that person; or (2) to cause such other person to be sent out of this state against the will of the other person; or (3), this is the third type of kidnapping, to cause the person to be sold as a slave, or in any way held to service against the will of the person. In Oklahoma, kidnapping carries up to 20 years in the Department of Corrections.

When you get charged with kidnapping and you ask yourself, "Hey, I didn't even steal a kid, so how am I charged with kidnapping?" Well, we going to find out that, in Oklahoma, the elements to kidnapping are you have to first, unlawfully; second, seize, confine, inveigle, decoy, kidnap, abduct, or carry away; third, another person; and, fourth, with the intent to confine that person, or imprison that person, or send that person out of state, sell that person as a slave or to hold that person to service against that person's will.

There does not need to be a child involved for you to be charged with kidnapping in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Any person, a child or an adult, if they are unlawfully seized or confined, and the intent is to confine that person or imprison that person, or send that person out of state, hold them to service, you could be charged with kidnapping. 

Kidnapping Isn't Just About Stealing Children

Clients regularly tell me, “This doesn't make any sense! Kidnapping is if you steal a kid off the street and drive away with them.” Well, that is one version of kidnapping, absolutely. Or forcing a person into service against their will to do anything. It could be a job as a welder. It could be as a prostitute. It could be a cook. It could be as a farmhand. If you unlawfully seize or confine a person against their will, with the intent to either confine or imprison or force that person in service against their will, you're looking at a potential kidnapping charge that carries up to 20 years in prison.

What do we see most often with kidnapping charges in Tulsa, Oklahoma? We see kidnapping usually as an add-on, not typically as a standalone charge. When I say add-on, kidnapping could be found with other charges you are facing in Tulsa District Court. Rare is the true single count of kidnapping. Now, we see these quite often with sex crimes and in domestic assault and battery cases where the individual is trying to leave a room and the defendant or prospective client prevents that person from leaving the room. Now, it could be because you just want to confine that person. You want to force that person not to go somewhere. You're having an argument and you're not done talking to the person. You won't let them leave the damn room until you finish that conversation and put your conflict to bed. Well, technically, under the law in Oklahoma, that is an unlawful seizing or confining a person with the intent to either confine or imprison that person-a.k.a. KIDNAPPING

If your intention is not to imprison a person or confine a person, you were simply having a conversation for five minutes. It might not matter.  Here is a big surprise:  There is no minimum time required under the kidnapping statute! It might only be for five minutes. It might be for a minute. It might be for a month. Time doesn't matter if you unlawfully confine a person against their will, with the intent to confine that person. It doesn't matter if you have good intentions, if you're trying to do something good for the person, or if you're trying to help your relationship with a person. If it's against their will, it's technically kidnapping.

Sentencing Ranges for Oklahoma Kidnapping Charges

The sentencing range is up to 20 years in prison, but most fact patterns with a skilled Tulsa criminal defense attorney you are looking at something at the lower end of the sentencing range. You might be at the bottom. You might be zero. You might be probation eligible, but kidnapping is still a felony and you can still technically be charged with it and you have the exposure to up to 20 years in prison. A kidnapping charge in Tulsa, Oklahoma can all happen without there ever being a child involved.

21 O.S. 741 Kidnapping, Any person who, without lawful authority, seizes, confines, inveigles, decoys, kidnaps, abducts, or carries away another, with intent, either:

  1. To cause such other person to be confined or imprisoned in this state against the will of the other person; or
  2. To cause such other person to be sent out of this state against the will of the other person; or
  3. To cause such person to be sold as a slave, or in any way held to service against the will of such person,

shall be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for a term not exceeding twenty (20) years. Upon any trial for a violation of this section, the consent thereto of the person kidnapped or confined, shall not be a defense, unless it appears satisfactorily to the jury, that such person was above the age of twelve (12) years, and that such consent was not extorted by threat, or by duress.

Except for persons sentenced to life or life without parole, on and after the effective date of this act, any person sentenced to imprisonment for a violation of this section and the offense involved sexual abuse or sexual exploitation, shall be required to serve a term of post-imprisonment supervision pursuant to subparagraph f of paragraph 1 of subsection A of Section 991a of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes under conditions determined by the Department of Corrections. The jury shall be advised that the mandatory post-imprisonment supervision shall be in addition to the actual imprisonment.

Protect Yourself With a Legal Defense From a Former Prosecutor

Facing legal charges for a serious crime is overwhelming and stressful. Your entire future is at stake, and defense attorney Lee Berlin understands the consequences for you and your family. Don't risk losing your rights or freedom. Contact us today or call 918-384-0850 to schedule an appointment for a consultation.

Lee Berlin
Dedicated to defending clients accused of domestic violence, sex & violent crimes throughout eastern Oklahoma