Abduction Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Abduction, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Abduction?

n. the carrying away of any person by luring, by force or by fraud. This is a misdemeanor punishable by indictment. A near synonym in criminal law is kidnapping but it is restrictive in its meaning as it refers to abduction by force or the threat of force.

History and Meaning of Abduction

The term "abduction" has its roots in the Latin word "abductus," which means "carried away." In law, abduction refers to the act of taking someone away without their consent or by using force, fraud, or coercion. Abduction is a crime that can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the case.

Examples of Abduction

  1. A man lures a young child into his car by offering them candy and then drives away with them.
  2. A group of armed men kidnap a wealthy businessman and demand a ransom for his safe return.
  3. A woman is taken from her home by her estranged husband against her will.
  4. A teenager is tricked into leaving their home to meet someone they met online who then takes them to another state without permission.
  5. A parent takes their child out of the country without the other parent's permission or consent.

Legal Terms Similar to Abduction

  1. Kidnapping - A more restrictive term referring specifically to the act of abducting someone by force or the threat of force.
  2. False imprisonment - The act of knowingly restraining someone without their consent and without legal justification.
  3. Human trafficking - The trade of humans, most commonly for the purposes of forced labor or sexual exploitation.
  4. Unlawful restraint - The act of knowingly restricting someone else's freedom of movement without their consent and without legal justification.
  5. Child snatching - An informal term used to describe the taking of a child by a non-custodial parent or another individual without the custodial parent's permission.