A charge for unlawful detention in Utah involves allegations that an individual has been held against their will, without the authority of law, for a brief time. Most often, the key difference between a charge
Under Utah Law, unlawful detention is a class B misdemeanor; however, if the victim is injured or the defendant threatens, uses, or just possesses a weapon, the charge can become an aggravated felony charge. Canyons Law Group is a Utah criminal defense team that has extensive experience defending felony and misdemeanor cases, including; unlawful detention, kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping, and child kidnapping. Contact us today for your initial consultation.
Utah Code 76-5-304 details the elements of a criminal charge for unlawful detention. This charge requires proof that an individual “knowingly and intentionally” detained or restrained a person, not constituting a violation of one of Utah’s kidnapping statutes. A difference between charges of unlawful detention and kidnapping is based on how long the person was detained. A kidnapping charge requires proof that the detention persisted for a “substantial” time. (Please note that an aggravated kidnapping charge can be filed even in cases where the detention was brief but injuries were inflicted, weapons were used, or other factors are met.)
Unlawful detention of a minor requires proof of different specific elements. This charge does not require proof that the minor was physically restrained or detained. Instead, unlawful detention of a minor can be charged if the person “coerces or exerts influence over the victim with the intent to cause the victim to remain with the actor for an unreasonable time under the circumstances.” Also, a person charged with unlawful detention of a minor must be at least four years older than the victim.