The terms and definitions on this page are relevant to criminal cases in the State of Michigan, United States of America, unless noted otherwise. Criminal laws and procedures in other states and countries may be very different.
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The legal system can be filled with confusing phrases and terms. This list should help you to understand that system a little better.
Kidnapping [MCL 750.349]
- Penalty: Felony - up to Life or any term of years.
- The unlawfully taking and carrying away or confinement of a person by force and against his/her will.
- Occurs when a natural or adoptive parent takes or retains a child for more than 24 hours with intent to detain or conceal the child from the parent who has legal custody or visitation rights at the time, the person who adopted the child, or the person who had lawful charge of the child.
- Note: The defendant may raise an affirmative defense that he/she took the child to protect the child from an immediate and actual threat of physical or mental harm, abuse or neglect.
- Penalty: Felony - up to 366 days incarceration and/or $2,000 fine
- Based on People v Killebrew, 416 Mich 189 (1992).
- A "Killebrew plea" allows a defendant to enter a conditional guilty which can be withdrawn if the judge's eventual sentence falls outside sentencing terms negotiated by the prosecutor and defense.
- Normally, defendants plead guilty without any legal expectation of a specific sentence, and judges are not bound by a sentencing agreement between the parties. But in "Killebrew agreements", the judge is advised before the plea of the sentencing terms approved by both sides and has allowed the defendant to enter this rare, conditional plea. The judge is not a party to the plea agreement and may later impose any lawful sentence. But, because the defendant was induced to plead guilty by an expected sentence, he may withdraw his plea if he does not receive that sentence.
- See also Cobbs Plea.