Most people are aware of the horrible crime of kidnapping; however, as our criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert know, there is a lot of misunderstanding about the actual implications of the law. Florida State Statute 787.01  deals with kidnapping, the crime of kidnapping a child under the age of 13, and the associated aggravating circumstances.

According to the law, the term “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 said person for ransom or reward or as a shield of hostage; to commit or facilitate commission of any felony; to inflict bodily harm upon or to terrorize the victim or another person; or to interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function.

According to the statute, confinement of a child under the age of 13 is against his or her will within the meaning of this subsection if such confinement is without the consent or his or her parent or legal guardian. This portion of the law includes a very important clarification; for example, let’s say a child calls the police because he is at a man’s house (and the man is not his father or legal guardian) and the man won’t let him leave. On first thought, this would be a clear instance of kidnapping. However, if the man at whose house the child is was given permission by the child’s parent(s) to keep the child in said house, this would not be an example of kidnapping.

In terms of punishment, a person who kidnaps a person (according to the specifics of the law, as outlined on this page), is guilty of a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life, or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, which detail possible punishment of life imprisonment and/or $30,000 in fines.

Our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know that a person who commits the offense of kidnapping upon a child under the age of 13 and, who in the course of committing the offense commits one or more of the following:

•    Aggravated child abuse, as defined in s. 827.03;
•    Sexual battery, as defined in chapter 794, against the child;
•    Lewd or lascivious battery, lewd or lascivious molestation, lewd or lascivious conduct, or lewd or lascivious exhibition, in violation of s. 800.04 or s. 847.0135(5);
•    A violation of former s. 796.03 or s. 796.04, relating to prostitution, upon the child;
•    Exploitation of the child or allowing the child to be exploited, in violation of s. 450.151; or
•    A violation of s. 787.06(3)(g), relating to human trafficking,

commits a life felony, punishable by up to life in prison and/or tens of thousands of dollars in fines and court fees.

As our criminal defense lawyers know, if you’re faced with charges of a kidnapping crime, it’s absolutely essential that you retain an experienced legal defense team to properly fight the charges against you. Thus, if you’ve been arrested for or charged with this or any other crime in Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade County, please contact us for a free consultation by calling 1-888-5-DEFEND (1-888-533-3363). We look forward to assisting you.

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