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In Florida, Kidnapping is committed when you forcibly, secretly, or by threat, confine, abduct, or imprison another person against their will coupled with the intent to either hold them for ransom or as a hostage; inflict bodily harm to them; terrorize them or another; commit or facilitate a felony; or interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function.

Penalties for a Kidnapping Charge

In Florida, Kidnapping is classified as a first degree felony punishable by up to:
  1. Life in prison;
  2. Life on supervised probation;
  3. A $10,000 fine
Florida reclassifies Kidnapping to a life felony if the victim is a child under the age of 13 and, in the course of committing the kidnapping, the person commits:
  1. Aggravated child abuse
  2. Sexual battery
  3. Lew or lascivious battery, molestation, conduct, or exhibition; or
  4. Exploits or allows the child to be exploited

Defenses to a Kidnapping Charge

In addition to factual defenses that would be raised at trial to show reasonable doubt as to the crime alleged, some common defenses to a Kidnapping charge in Florida include:

Lack of intent to hold for an enumerated purpose
Florida requires that you not only forcibly, secretly, or by threat confine, abduct, or imprison another person against their will but that you also did so for a specific and enumerated purpose.
 
Without that intent, you may have a defense the Kidnapping charge in Florida. However, you may still be in violation of other Florida laws such as False Imprisonment.

The confinement, abduction, or imprisonment had no independent significance to a separate felony
If you are charged with an independent felony in addition to Kidnapping, Florida law requires that the alleged confinement, abduction, or imprisonment not be slight, inconsequential, or merely incidental to the other felony and must have some independent significance and not be the kind inherent in the nature of the other felony.

You had lawful authority
It is a prerequisite of the crime of Kidnapping that you confined, abducted, or imprisoned another without lawful authority to do so. While this defense may be rare, it is still a viable option in certain situations and must be explored fully.
Contact Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney Chris Kaigle if you’ve been charged with Kidnapping in Florida!
(407) 545-6416