Any alleged kidnapping is a felony offense in Florida subject to extremely harsh punishments. People convicted of these crimes can be sentenced to decades—or possibly even life—in prison.
Many of these types of cases involve alleged offenders who are related to the alleged victims, with disputes often arising during contentious divorce or child custody proceedings. Prosecutors aggressively pursue maximum punishments in these cases, even when the evidence might not support such serious criminal charges.Lawyer for Kidnapping Arrests in Miami-Dade County, Florida
Were you recently arrested in Florida for allegedly kidnapping another person? You will want to contact The Hoffman Firm as soon as possible to explore all of your legal options.
Evan A. Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Miami who represents clients all over Miami-Dade County, including such communities as Key Biscayne, Miami Beach, North Miami, Opa-locka, and many others. Call (305) 249-0090 right now to schedule a free, confidential consultation that will let our lawyer review your case.
Overview of Kidnapping Crimes in North Miami
- What constitutes kidnapping in Florida?
- How are the criminal charges impacted when the alleged victim is a child?
- Where can I learn more about kidnapping crimes?
Florida Kidnapping Charges
Under Florida Statute § 787.01, alleged offenders can be charged with kidnapping if they forcibly, secretly, or by threat confine, abduct, or imprison another person against her or his will and without lawful authority, with intent to do one of the following:
- Hold the alleged victim for ransom or reward or as a shield or hostage;
- Commit or facilitate commission of any felony;
- Inflict bodily harm upon or to terrorize the alleged victim or another person; or
- Interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function.
When it is alleged that a person kidnapped another party with the intent to commit or facilitate the commission of any felony, the Florida Standard Jury Instructions stipulate that the prosecution must also prove that , the confinement, abduction, or imprisonment:
- must not be slight, inconsequential, or merely incidental to the alleged felony;
- must not be of the kind inherent in the nature of the alleged felony; and
- must have some significance independent of the alleged felony in that it makes the alleged felony substantially easier of commission or substantially lessens the risk of detection.
Kidnapping is a first-degree felony offense punishable by up to 30 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Kidnapping a Child Under the Age of 13 in Miami-Dade County
Kidnapping becomes a life felony if the alleged victim is a child under the age of 13 and the alleged offender, in the course of committing the offense, commits one or more of the following:
- Aggravated child abuse;
- Sexual battery against the child;
- Lewd or lascivious battery;
- Lewd or lascivious molestation;
- Lewd or lascivious conduct;
- Lewd or lascivious exhibition;
- Procuring a child for prostitution;
- Forcing, compelling, or coercing another to become a prostitute;
- Exploitation of a child; or
- Human trafficking for commercial sexual activity.
A life felony offense is punishable by life in prison and/or a fine of up to $15,000. Any alleged use of a firearm or other deadly weapon in an alleged kidnapping offense can increase the possible sentence for a conviction.
Florida Kidnapping Arrest Resources
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children — The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that specializes in locating missing children. The website has various resources related to kidnapping, including statistics and a family resource guide that provides information about preventing kidnapping and increasing the chances children who have been kidnapped to or wrongfully retained can be returned. You can also learn more about the organization’s CyberTipline, the AMBER Alert Program, and search for missing children.
“Double Offense” Problems in Kidnapping and False Imprisonment Cases — The constraint element of kidnapping and false imprisonment offenses is defined so broadly that the type of constraint inherent in the commission of other offenses can also be considered kidnapping or false imprisonment. In the December 2003 issue of the Florida Bar Journal, this article examined some of the issues surrounding this “double offense” problem. The author notes that a “backdoor method of relaxing the constraint element for kidnapping and false imprisonment may lead to the type of discriminatory enforcement and arbitrary results that engenders disrespect for the law.”
If you were arrested or believe you are under investigation for an alleged kidnapping offense in Florida, it is in your best interest to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. The Hoffman Firm aggressively defends clients in South Miami, Aventura, Coral Gables, Hialeah, and several nearby areas in Miami-Dade County.
Miami criminal defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman is a former prosecutor who can fight to get these criminal charges significantly reduced or completely dismissed. He can review your case and discuss all of your legal options as soon as you call (305) 249-0090 or submit an online contact form to take advantage of a free initial consultation.