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C.G.S. § 53a-94 – Kidnapping in the Second Degree


Kidnapping Kidnapping in the second degree under Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-94 is a severe felony offense that carries a mandatory minimum of three years in jail and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

When people think of the term kidnapping, they visualize scenarios where someone is abducted and held against their will until a ransom is paid. Under Connecticut law, the abduction of an individual with the intent to compel the payment of money as a ransom is the more severe crime of kidnapping in the first degree in violation of § 53a-92, which is a Class A felony.

Many clients who get charged with kidnapping in the second degree are surprised how severe the penalty is and how easily you can be charged with this offense. Kidnapping and the less serious crime of unlawful restraint in Connecticut are very closely related, and often there is a fine line between the two. Unlawful restraint requires that the actor restrain someone against their will. Kidnaping involves the abduction of another person.

Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-91(2) defines abduction as restraining someone with the intent to prevent their liberation by either secreting or holding them in a place where they are not likely to be found or threatening to use physical force or intimidation. Under Connecticut law, if you abduct someone, it is kidnapping in the second degree. Connecticut creates an exception for abductions that were "incidental" to the commission of another crime. For example, someone who holds down a victim long enough to sexually assault someone could not be convicted for a violation of kidnapping in the second degree in violation of C.G.S. § 53a-94 if the abduction was incidental to the sexual assault.

Kidnapping has been frequently charged in domestic violence situations where a threat of physical force is used to force an intimate partner or spouse to go with the accused.

Unlawful restraint is closely associated and more commonly charged and involves restraint of another but does not rise to the level of an abduction. Kidnapping is one of the most severely punished crimes in Connecticut, and anyone charged with this offense should promptly speak with an experienced Connecticut criminal defense attorney.

Elements of the Crime Which Must be Proven by The Prosecutor

To be convicted of the crime of C.G.S. § 53a-94 unlawful kidnapping in the second degree, the state's attorney must be able to prove the following elements of the crime:

  1. The defendant abducts another person

A man is arguing with his girlfriend. He feels that she is cheating on him, and he is agitated. He goes to her apartment, and she tells him to leave. The man forces the woman to leave with him against her will by punching her and pulling her hair. He forces her into his car and drives around her a half-hour before the woman jumps out at a red light and runs away. The man could be convicted for kidnapping in the second degree in violation of C.G.S. § 53a-94 because he abducted his girlfriend.

A man poses as a uber driver as the bars are closing downtown in the early morning hours. An intoxicated woman gets into his car, thinking that he is her uber ride. The man takes the woman against her will to a secluded area and sexually assaults her while she is passed out. After the man is finished assaulting the woman, he drives around with her for several more hours. The man could be convicted for kidnapping in the second degree in violation of C.G.S. § 53a-94 because he abducted the woman.

Related Offenses

Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-96 - Unlawful Restraint in the Second Degree

Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-92 - Kidnapping in the First Degree

Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-71 - Strangulation

Defenses to Connecticut General Statutes C.G.S. § 53a-94 - Kidnapping in the Second Degree

Kidnapping is an intentional crime. If the accused believed that the victim voluntarily consented to go with the accused, then the accused could not be convicted. In some situations, victims may be terrified and internally feel that they are being forced to go with someone while overtly not expressing any resistance. If the victim's presence was voluntary, there could be no kidnapping.

There have been several arrests of victims in Connecticut who have made false kidnapping allegations, particularly in the domestic violence context. The motivations for these false claims could be jealousy, revenge, or simply an individual who has regret over an ill-advised sexual encounter.

Kidnapping can not be charged for restraint that only takes long enough to facilitate another crime. For example, holding someone at gunpoint long enough to rob a victim is not kidnapping in Connecticut as that restraint is considered to be incidental to the crime of robbery.


A violation of C.G.S. § 53a-94 kidnapping in the second degree is a Class B felony is punishable by a mandatory minimum of three years in jail and a maximum of 20 years in jail and a fine of up to $15,000.

Defense for C.G.S. § 53a-94 - Kidnapping in the Second Degree Allegations

For more information about defending kidnapping in the second-degree charges in violation of C.G.S. § 53a-94, contact Stamford criminal lawyer Allan F. Friedman to arrange your free, no-obligation, initial consultation. Mr. Friedman can be reached 24/7 at (203) 357-5555, or you can contact us online for a prompt response.

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