Kidnapping is considered a serious felony offense in any state in the Union, whether a child or an adult is the victim. Law enforcement officers are not at all sympathetic toward an alleged kidnapper. Prosecutors are zealous in demanding the harshest sentencing which may be as severe as life in prison. Just because a person is accused of kidnapping or the lesser offense of false imprisonment does not mean the person is actually guilty of either one. In the past, good Samaritans and other equally innocent persons have found themselves accused of a criminal offense and have had to fight to extricate themselves from the legal system. Regardless of the circumstances, if you have been charged with one of these crimes, you need the assistance of a lawyer at Tison Law Group who takes an aggressive stance in dealing with criminal charges.
Florida Kidnapping Statutes
Under Florida law, kidnapping is classified as a first degree felony, punishable by imprisonment up to 30 years, along with a $10,000 fine. The elements of the crime include:
- Confinement, abduction or imprisonment of another person against their will
- The action must be committed by force or threat and absent legal authority
- There must be an intent to:
- Hold the person for ransom or as a hostage;
- Commit a felony;
- Terrorize the victim or another party; or
- Interfere with a political function.
The crime rises to the level of aggravated kidnapping when:
- A dangerous weapon is displayed or used;
- The victim is a law enforcement officer; or
- The victim is a person younger than 13 years old.
Aggravated kidnapping is punishable by a life sentence, or imprisonment of at least 25 years, along with probation for the remainder of the offender’s life.
The severity of these punishments exemplify the serious nature of kidnapping charges in Florida. Accused parties should quickly secure the representation of a lawyer to represent their interests within the judicial system. In mounting a defense to kidnapping, a lawyer may argue that the accused lacked the necessary intent to meet the elements of the crime. Consent by the kidnapped party and insanity are also possible defenses at trial. An experienced lawyer can review the details of the incident and determine the best course of action.
If you or a loved one is facing kidnapping charges, contact the lawyers at Tison Law Group to provide you with an aggressive and comprehensive defense. Contact the Tison Law Group for a free consultation.