Domestic violence cases typically conjure images of violence taking place in the home, but Florida’s law in this area encompasses a multitude of crimes, including false imprisonment and kidnapping. According to Florida law, kidnapping involves the confinement, imprisonment, or abduction of another against his or her will. The act must be done using force, secret, or threat and without any lawful authority.
Additionally, the defendant must possess the requisite intent, which must consist of one of the following:
- The intent to hold the person for reward or ransom, or to use the person as a hostage or shield;
- The intent to facilitate or commit any felony;
- The intent to inflict bodily injury to another, or to terrorize the victim or another individual; or
- The intent to interfere with the carrying out of a political or governmental function.
Kidnapping can arise in a domestic violence case in a number of ways. In 2013, for example, a Pasco man faced charges for domestic and aggravated assault and kidnapping his wife when he forced her to accompany him to dinner at a restaurant. The then 49-year-old man contacted his estranged wife and invited her to his house, intending to make a reconciliation. During the couple’s meeting, however, the wife informed the defendant that she did not want to be with him and that she no longer loved him.
Following her statement, the defendant struck the woman in the head and confiscated her cell phone and car keys while she was incapacitated. As a result, the woman was unable to call someone for help or leave the premises. According to Florida law, the defendant’s taking of the wife’s keys and cell phone constituted “tampering with the victim,” carrying stiff penalties.
Next, the defendant forced the wife to sit on the couch next to him at knife point and watch television. In an effort to win his wife back over, the defendant forced the woman to leave the premises and attend dinner with him at a local restaurant. Following dinner, the defendant took his wife to Walmart, where he shopped for new clothes.
Following their outing, the defendant took his wife back to his home, where he resumed forcing her to watch television with him. Fortunately for the wife’s sake, her father arrived at the defendant’s premises, concerned that she had not answered any of his phone calls over the course of several hours. The father was able to remove the woman from the premises and get her into his vehicle.
As they were driving away from the defendant’s house, however, the defendant obtained a rifle, pointed it at the father’s car, and fired a shot. This act resulted in an aggravated assault charge for the defendant. Typically a third-degree felony charge carrying no mandatory sentence, this charge can carry a three-year minimum or mandatory sentence if the prosecution can prove that the defendant aimed the rifle at the wife or father directly.
If you have been arrested for or are a person of interest in a case involving domestic violence, kidnapping, assault, or false imprisonment, the experienced domestic violence lawyers at The Hoffman Firm can help. Our dedicated and experienced team of domestic violence professionals knows what it takes to defend your rights and protect your interests aggressively and effectively. We have assisted many individuals throughout South Florida and are prepared to do the same for you or your loved one. Call us now at (305) 249-0090 or contact us online to set up your free consultation today.
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