Criminal charges in South Florida for kidnapping or false imprisonment are serious charges leading to serious jail time and other consequences. Without proper legal help from a criminal defense lawyer in Miami, you may jeopardize your future, especially if the charges are false.
Florida’s Definition of Kidnapping
The Florida Statutes define kidnapping as “forcibly, secretly, or by threat confining, abducting, or imprisoning another person against her or his will.” The Statutes also continue to expand on this definition that the accused, without lawful authority, intended to:
- hold the victim for ransom, reward, or as a hostage or shield;
- commit the confinement, abduction, or imprisonment to assist in the commission of another felony;
- inflict bodily harm or terrorize the victim; and/or
- interfere with the performance of a governmental or political function.
Even if you did not physically harm the victim, the fact you held another person against his or her will is enough to result in criminal charges in South Florida. The charges are even greater when the victim involved is a minor under the age of 13, which is why having a criminal defense attorney in Miami is important to ensure you are properly represented in court.
Criminal Charges in South Florida for Kidnapping
Kidnapping is a first degree felony that may result in imprisonment up to 30 years but not exceeding life imprisonment. The fines associated with a first degree felony may also be up to $10,000. These basic penalties are the maximums for a simple kidnapping charge and can vary greatly with the conditions of the crime.
If a firearm was used in the kidnapping, the 10/20/Life sentencing laws may apply. There may also be additional charges for associated crimes if they were committed in conjunction with the kidnapping. The criminal charges in South Florida you face can be even more severe if the victim was a minor.
The charges you face for kidnapping in Florida are severe and can be extremely difficult, if not impossible to remove from your criminal record. This can make obtaining a job or residence more complicated in the future, and in some circumstances, lead to additional criminal charges in South Florida.
Kidnapping of a Minor in Florida
When the victim involved in your kidnapping case is a minor under the age of 13, your criminal charges in South Florida may be dramatically increased. There are enhanced penalties for kidnapping a minor where you also are charged with committing:
- aggravated child abuse;
- sexual battery;
- lewd or lascivious battery, molestation, conduct, or exhibition;
- child prostitution; or
- child exploitation.
These enhancements may allow your prison sentence to be increased to life in prison – a very difficult penalty to avoid or reduce without the help of a criminal defense lawyer in Miami.
The Importance of a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Miami
Criminal charges in South Florida regarding kidnapping are serious and should not be handled without the experience of a criminal defense lawyer in Miami. Because this is a first degree felony, you risk huge fines and long prison terms if you do not have an experienced legal defense on your side.
Kidnapping charges are often difficult to prove as the prosecutor must prove you knowingly and intended to hold the victim against his or her will. The prosecution must prove many factors about your criminal behavior, and your criminal defense lawyer in Miami will have the skills to fight those accusations.
While not all criminal charges in South Florida for kidnapping can be dismissed, your criminal defense lawyer in Miami may be able to negotiate a reduced sentence in some cases. Depending on your past criminal history and the factors of the kidnapping, the fees may be reduced and your jail time shortened.
Contacting a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Miami
You have the right to a criminal defense lawyer in Miami during the proceedings following your arrest in Florida. If you are facing criminal charges in South Florida, your legal team is your best defense. Contact the Miami criminal defense attorney team at Falk & Ross to discuss your case – 1-877-663-5110.