Kidnapping under FL Law

When people think of kidnapping, they think of abducting an important person's child and holding him or her for ransom. Actually, Florida Statute § 787.01 for kidnapping, is a lot more broad to allow criminal prosecution of a person who holds an individual in more than an "incidental" manner.

Additionally, people often confuse kidnapping with false imprisonment and vice versa, but they are separate offenses with kidnapping being the much more serious offense under Florida law.

Generally, victims of kidnapping are abducted by people they know. The term used is "acquaintance kidnapping." Acquaintance kidnapping means that the child or individual was abducted by someone he or she had met before. Moreover, kidnapping crimes may have federal implications. Under the federal kidnapping statute 18 U.S.C. § 1201, an individual may face federal consequences that could include up to life in prison or in some instances death.

Attorney for Kidnapping in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

The attorneys at Bacchus Law Firm have been successfully fighting for the rights of criminal defendants throughout the Miami-metropolitan area for years.

We are known for aggressively defending our clients' rights and advocating to have their charges dropped. Our attorneys take cases in Broward County, FL, and in the surrounding cities including West Palm Beach, Miami, East Naples, and LaBelle.

Our offices are centrally located on Southeast 3rd Ave, in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, just minutes from the Broward County Central Courthouse. If you have been arrested or are subject to investigative procedures for kidnapping in Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, Collier County, or Hendry County, Florida, then contact our firm immediately.

Call (954) 500-5555 for more information and to set up a non-obligations consultation with one of our attorneys.

Broward County Assault and Battery Information Center

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Elements of § 787.01 Fla. Stat. Kidnapping

To convict an individual of kidnapping, the State of Florida must show the following beyond all reasonable doubt:

  • that the defendant secretly, by threat, or forcibly;
    • abducted,
    • confined, or
    • imprisoned
  • the victim against his or her will;
  • the defendant had no lawful authority to do so; and
  • the defendant acted with intent to do one of the following:
    • 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
    • to inflict bodily harm upon or to terrorize the victim or another person.

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Aggravated Kidnapping under FL Law

Under Fla. Stat. § 787.01(3), an individual could be found guilty of aggravated kidnapping. Aggravated kidnapping can be distinguished from kidnapping in that aggravated kidnapping includes kidnapping a minor under thirteen (13) years old and committing additional grievances.

To convict an offender of aggravated kidnapping under Florida law, the prosecution must show, beyond a reasonable doubt, the following:

  1. that at the time of the kidnapping, the victim was under thirteen (13) years old; and
  2. that in the court of committing the kidnapping, the defendant also committed one of the following:
    1. aggravated child abuse;
    2. human trafficking violations;
    3. lewd or lascivious battery, molestation, conduct, or exhibition;
    4. sexual battery against the child;
    5. a violation involving prostitution upon the child; or
    6. exploitation of the child.

Aggravated kidnapping is charged as a life felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum of thirty (30) years and a statutory maximum of life in prison.

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Kidnapping during Other Crimes

Considering the way the Florida kidnapping statute was framed by the Florida Legislature, almost any forcible crime could be included in a kidnapping charge. Since almost all forcible felonies restrict the victim's freedom of movement to some degree, those crimes inherently implicate the kidnapping statute.

To circumvent such an unfair result, the Florida Supreme Court, in Faison v. State, 426 So.2d 963 (Fla. 1983), came up with a three-prong test to determine whether a kidnapping occurred during the commission of another crime.

Courts in Florida have found that in order to charge an offender of kidnapping, the kidnapping must not be merely incidental to another offense. To be charged with kidnapping, in conjunction with the commission of another crime, the defendant's actions must have the following characteristics:

  • the actions must not be the kind inherent in the nature of the other crime;
  • the actions must not be slight, inconsequential, and merely incidental to the other crime; and
  • the actions must have some significance independent of the other crime in that it makes the other crime substantially easier of commission or substantially lessens the risk of detection.

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Additional Resources

Florida Statute 787.01 Kidnapping – Visit Online Sunshine, the official website of the Florida Legislature to find the complete statutory language of the Florida Kidnapping statute, including the elements of aggravated kidnapping and the penalties for both offenses.

Federal Kidnapping Manual – Visit the official website of United States Department of Justice for more information on the elements of federal kidnapping, including the kinds of activities that bring a crime under federal jurisdiction under 18 U.S.C § 1204.

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Find an Attorney for Kidnapping Crimes in Broward County, FL

The attorneys at Bacchus Law Firm have years of experience defending the rights of criminal defendants in kidnapping cases and other violent crimes such as false imprisonment, battery, aggravated battery, and domestic violence.

We serve both men and women in violent crimes cases. Our attorneys take cases throughout the Miami-metropolitan area in Ft. Lauderdale and in the surrounding cities of West Palm Beach, Miami, LaBelle, and East Naples.

Call (954) 500-5555 now for more information or to schedule a one-on-one with one of our attorneys.

If you or someone you know has been charged with kidnapping in Broward County, or in any county near our offices, such as Collier County, Palm Beach County, Miami-Dade County, Hendry County, or Collier County, then call our office now.

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