Although most people think of kidnapping as a sensational crime involving ransom notes for abducted children of rich people, it’s more commonly charged in connection with domestic disputes. For example, a parent can be charged with kidnapping their own child in a custody dispute. According to Florida statute 787.01, Kidnapping means “forcibly, secretly, or by threat confining, abducting, or imprisoning another person against her or his will.”
Specifically, someone can face Kidnapping charges in Florida for taking a person against their will with the intention to:
∙ Commit or facilitate the commission of a felony;
∙ Interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function; ∙ Hold the victim for ransom or reward, or as a shield or hostage; or ∙ Inflict bodily harm upon or to terrorize the victim or another person.
Kidnapping is a first-degree felony and a conviction can mean a minimum of four years in prison with a maximum term of life.
A defendant can be charged with Aggravated Kidnapping if the victim was under 13-years-old and the defendant committed one of these offenses:
∙ sexual battery against the child
∙ aggravated child abuse
∙ human trafficking
∙ lewd or lascivious battery
∙ exploitation of the child.
Aggravated Kidnapping is a life felony with a mandatory minimum of 30-years to life in prison. A kidnapping case may also bring federal charges.
Defense Against Kidnapping Charges
There can be layers of charges in a kidnapping case, depending on the
circumstances. Since anyone of these charges can result in long stretches in state prison, it’s vital to be represented by an aggressive criminal defense attorney.
Courts have ruled that prosecutors can only bring Kidnapping charges under certain circumstances. Prosecutors often overreach, piling on the charges and potential prison time, for example, by including Kidnapping charges in a case of an alleged assault. They use the prospect of more prison time as leverage to persuade a defendant to plead guilty so that they can avoid the expense and uncertainty of a trial.
You need an attorney who understands the system and knows the best way to use it to your advantage. An experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney will challenge the prosecution at every turn to make sure that your rights are protected. If you face criminal charges in Florida, call (407) 349-4211 for a free consultation with the Orlando criminal defense attorneys at the Rivas Law firm.