There are serious penalties imposed for kidnapping, particularly if the kidnapping is considered domestic violence. Recently, the Miami police determined that a South Florida woman’s kidnapping, which was recorded, was connected to domestic violence. If you have questions about a Florida domestic violence or kidnapping charge, reach out to a knowledgeable attorney for answers.
The kidnapping occurred on a Friday at a tire shop. The woman screamed and asked witnesses to hide her and to call 911. A man was screaming at her. She was videotaped running toward two men that were standing outside the store. They observed that she was upset. She ran inside a restroom. She was also videotaped being forcibly pushed into a car that a man was driving. According to the Miami police, the man had his arms wrapped around her neck as he forced her into the vehicle.
Also according to the Miami police, the woman was found a few days later and was in good shape. Detectives have been following up to investigate the kidnapping.
Most people associate domestic violence with assault. However, in Florida, domestic violence includes multiple different types of crimes in which the perpetrator and victim have a certain type of relationship. Crimes that can qualify as domestic violence given the right relationship include kidnapping, stalking, aggravated stalking, sexual battery, sexual assault, battery, aggravated battery, and assault, whether simple assault or aggravated assault.
A perpetrator of certain crimes can commit domestic violence against a victim who is a husband, wife, ex-spouse, blood relative, a relative by marriage or a co-parent of his or her child. It is also domestic violence if the perpetrator and individual live together or formerly lived together in the same household. Domestic violence can also occur where the victim and perpetrator are currently dating or were previously dating. To be deemed “dating” the people need to have been engaged in an intimate, romantic or sexual relationship.
If a victim can show there’s an immediate danger or injury within a dating relationship or threat of domestic violence can obtain an injunction. Violations of injunctions against domestic violence or dating violence can be prosecuted and convictions can result in time incarcerated.
In Florida, there is a minimum punishment of five days in the county jail for domestic violence. The court can also sentence someone who has been convicted of domestic violence to be imprisoned in Florida state prison. The prosecutor can also charge the perpetrator with other criminal offenses and if there was already an injunction in place against a defendant, prosecutors may charge the violation of the injunction as a first-degree misdemeanor, which can result in a 1-year sentence of incarceration.
The penalties depend on what the crime is that constitutes domestic violence. Under Florida Statutes section 787.01, kidnapping is a first-degree felony that can be punished by up to life imprisonment. Prosecutors need to show: (1) the perpetrator used force, a threat of force or acted seriously to (2) confine, abduct or imprison another, (3) against her or his will. Most people assume kidnapping is related to children only. However, kidnapping often occurs in the context of people in an intimate relationship or a previously intimate relationship where one person detains the other against his or her will.