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Florida Criminal Statute 787.01 states that kidnapping means forcibly, secretly, or by threat, confining, abducting, or imprisoning another person against his or her will and without lawful authority, with intent to hold for ransom, inflict bodily harm upon or to terrorize the victim or another person, or interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function. Kidnapping charges are very serious and without the experience of a kidnapping defense attorney beating the charges are going to be very difficult.

  • What must a state prosecutor prove in order for a defendant to be found guilty of kidnapping charges?
  • What are the two categories that kidnapping fall under and what are their potential punishments?
  • How can a defense attorney help a client who is dealing with kidnapping charges?

In Miami, Florida fighting kidnapping charges without the help of a kidnapping defense attorney is going to be nearly impossible. Kidnapping laws in Florida are categorized as violent crimes and the state prosecution takes kidnapping charges as serious as any other violent crime.

In order for a state prosecutor to prove kidnapping charges they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following:

  • The state prosecutor must prove the defendant initiated the use of force in order to abduct another individual
  • The defendant held another person against his or her will and tried to get some sort of ransom in exchange for the person that was abducted
  • The defendant initiated use of force and caused bodily harm to the victim that was kidnapped
  • The defendant interfered with a governmental or political function
  • The defendant abducted another individual in order to assist in the crime of a felony

In Miami, Florida kidnapping charges fall under two categories. They are simple kidnapping or aggravated kidnapping. The penalties for simple kidnapping include:

  • Restitution to the victim
  • Probation
  • Parole
  • Community service hours
  • Three-8 years of prison time
  • Fines

If charged with aggravated kidnapping the penalties can include:

  • Probation
  • Fines
  • Parole
  • Community service hours
  • Life sentencing in prison

Without a good kidnapping defense attorney it is going to be difficult for the Miami, Florida state prosecutor to prove kidnapping charges. Kidnapping charges often do not stand up in court because the actual kidnapping did not make execution of another felony easier to commit. Kidnapping charges are considered to be a first-degree felony. If found guilty of kidnapping a defendant could face the penalty of life long prison sentence. If the victim was 13 years of age or younger the penalties are likely to automatically be a life sentence in prison. In addition, if a deadly weapon or firearm arm is used during the execution of the kidnapping the charges will be enhanced. Even if the victim did not experience any physical harm, holding someone against their will is enough for a person to be charged with kidnapping.

Often time’s custody battles between two parents can result in kidnapping charges. For example, if a court never rewarded one parent any type of custody and they spend time with their child it can result in kidnapping charges. A kidnapping defense attorney gives an individual who was accused of kidnapping the best chance of being found innocent.

When facing kidnapping charges in Miami, Florida it is essential to have the services of a Florida criminal defense lawyer. One plan of defense that many defense attorneys use will be to prove that the confinement, abduction, or imprisonment of a victim was minor and did not help the act of a felony offense.

There is a lot at stake when facing kidnapping charges which makes it necessary for the individual being charged with the crime to have a kidnapping defense attorney in their corner. A quality Florida defense attorney will be able to provide their client with the aggressive defense that is necessary when dealing with kidnapping charges.

Yale Galanter

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