Tampa Kidnapping Defense Attorney
Experienced criminal defense lawyers since 1997
Kidnapping in general is the criminal offense of abducting, imprisoning, or confining an individual against his or her will. An individual of any age or gender can be kidnapped; however, the charge and penalties can be more severe if the victim is under the age of 13. See Fla. Statute 787.01. Furthermore, there may be additional offenses charged when a child is kidnapped, such as exploitation or aggravated child abuse. Kidnapping is a serious criminal offense that can have steep penalties for an individual found guilty. If you have been charged with kidnapping, you need to work with an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer at All Family Law Group, P.A. to give yourself the best possible chance of having your charge reduced or dismissed.
What Constitutes Kidnapping?
Under Florida law, confining, imprisoning, or abducting an individual for one or more of the following purposes may be charged as kidnapping:
- To commit or aid in the commission of a felony;
- To hold as a hostage or use as a human shield;
- To inflict bodily harm upon the victim or to terrorize him or her or another individual; or
- To interfere with a political or governmental function.
For a defendant to be convicted of kidnapping, the court must prove that he or she held the victim against the victim’s will and that the defendant did not have the legal authority to do so. If the victim was under 13, the court must prove that the defendant did not have permission from the victim’s parent or legal guardian to keep him or her.
Penalties for a Kidnapping Conviction in Florida
Kidnapping is a first degree felony. Individuals convicted of this offense may be sentenced up to life in prison. He or she can also face a fine of up to $10,000. If the individual is a “habitual offender,” meaning that he or she has been convicted of two or more felonies or other qualified offenses in the past, this will be considered during his or her sentencing. All of the circumstances of the kidnapping will be considered, including the violence, abuse and overall treatment of the kidnapped person.
Possible Defenses to a Kidnapping Charge
- The alleged victim consented to being taken, held, or confined;
- The defendant did not intend to abduct, imprison, or confined the victim without his or her consent;
- A lack of evidence proving that the defendant committed the crime can be part of a legal defense strategy against any criminal charge; or
- a violation of the defendant’s civil rights can also be part of his or her defense strategy and could result in certain pieces of evidence to be discarded.
Work with an Experienced Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney
Kidnapping is a very serious criminal offense, especially if it involves a child, and the penalties are harsh. If you have been charged with kidnapping, it is critical to your future liberty that you work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can help you get your charge ultimately reduced or dismissed, and if you plead guilty, to obtaining the best possible plea deal under the circumstances. To learn more, contact our kidnapping criminal defense team at the law firm of All Family Law Group, P.A. today to set up your free initial consultation with an attory at our firm. Call 813-672-1900 or email us and we will respond at our earliest opportunity. We look forward to speaking with you and discussing with you the options available.