Although most commonly associated with small children, kidnapping victims are of all ages. Kidnapping occurs when a person threatens or uses force, or acts secretly to imprison, abduct, or confine another against his or her will. It is considered a violent crime in Florida and is a serious felony offense, particularly if the victim is a child.
If you face kidnapping charges, you are up against one of the most harshly prosecuted allegations imaginable. Do not risk your future by failing to seek strong legal representation. A criminal defense attorney who defends kidnapping charges in West Palm Beach is your greatest asset in the fight to protect your freedom.
Kidnapping in Florida
Kidnapping entails using or threatening to use force, or acting secretly, to hold someone against his or her will and without lawful authority (Florida Statutes §787.01). To prove kidnapping, the State must show that the defendant had the intent to:
- Hold the victim for ransom or reward
- Use the victim as a shield or hostage
- Use the victim to facilitate committing a felony
- Take the victim as part of a felony commission
- Terrorize or inflict bodily harm upon the victim, or terrorize another person
- Interfere with the performance of government or any political function
Kidnapping charges also apply for the confinement of a child under 13 without parental or guardian permission. The charges may escalate to a life felony if, while kidnapping a minor under 13, the defendant committed one or more of the following offenses:
- Aggravated child abuse
- Sexual battery
- Lewd or lascivious battery
- Lewd or lascivious molestation
- Lewd or lascivious conduct
- Lewd or lascivious exhibition
- Prostitution of the child
- Exploiting the child or allowing another to exploit the child
- Human trafficking offenses
A life felony implies that the defendant, if convicted, will serve the rest of his life behind bars in a Florida state prison.
Kidnapping is often used to “overcharge” defendants who may have committed other crimes for which other charges would be more reasonable. In many cases, a lesser charge of false imprisonment is more reasonable, as there is often not enough evidence to support kidnapping.
By working with a determined and seasoned defense attorney like Brian Gabriel, all the facts of your case will be uncovered. It may be possible to reduce your charges or have them completely dropped, but you must act urgently. Contact The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel by calling 561-622-5575 or click here to schedule a free consultation.