Kidnapping is universally recognized through common law in the United States Federal Legal Code. Kidnapping refers to the unlawful seizing and carrying or transporting of a person by force or fraud. The person, who is typically a minor, is then detained against his or her will by one with a specific intent to transport or carry that person away at a later time.
As a result of the dangers associated with the crime, the laws against kidnapping make the wrongdoing a felony in every state in the country. That being said, kidnapping laws are extremely difficult to define with a sense of precision because the act varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
The majority of state and Federal kidnapping statutes define the act vaguely and leave it up to the courts to fill in the details. In general, kidnapping laws define the act as a person who, without authority, physically moves another person without consent to either harm the individual or seek a ransom. Regardless of the definition, all kidnapping laws are meant to prosecute and punish those guilty of such violations.