Among the most serious crimes that a person can commit within the State of Florida is that of kidnapping. Kidnapping is such a feared criminal offense that it has been ingrained in our collective consciousness by popular media. Many television shows and movies depict kidnapping as part of their plot and typically show the hero valiantly attempt to save the victim of a kidnapping from an international human trafficking ring or some other group of ne’er-do-wells. In reality, like many other criminal offenses, kidnapping can be a much more innocuous offense, yet one that still carries severe penalties upon a conviction.
Kidnapping is punishable in this State under Florida Statute 787.01. Under the law, Kidnapping is defined as “forcibly, secretly, or by threat,” abducting or confining a person against his or her will. The state must also prove that the defendant intended to hold the person as a hostage or use them as a human shield, to commit any other felony, to inflict bodily harm upon the victim, or to interfere with a governmental or political function. These additional elements separate kidnapping from other, less serious charges such as false imprisonment. Due to the serious penalties that can be involved with a kidnapping conviction, if you are charged, you should reach out to a dedicated Clearwater criminal defense lawyer for representation immediately.Kidnapping Enhancements
Kidnapping is a first degree felony, one of the most serious levels of offenses in the State. First degree felonies carry maximum penalties of 30 years in prison and often result in mandatory minimum prison sentences as well. Kidnapping however, can also be enhanced to a life felony under certain conditions. If a defendant convicted of kidnapping was found to, in the course of the crime, have committed child abuse, sexual battery, exploitation of a chile, or human trafficking, then the kidnapping offense is upgraded to a life felony with no maximum penalty. This means that a sentencing judge can hand down a sentence of life in prison. Don’t allow yourself to be railroaded into a life sentence. If you are charged with a kidnapping offense, don’t hesitate to retain a dedicated Clearwater criminal defense lawyer right away.
In Florida, unlike many other states, life in prison means life in prison. The Federal Government and many other states in the country have parole systems that allow prisoners to apply for conditional release after a certain point in their sentence as elapsed. Parole does not exist in Florida. If a judge sentences you to 30 years in prison, you will do 30 years in prison minus certain amounts of gain time. If a judge sentences you to life in prison in Florida, you will have no chance of release until the day you die.
Kidnapping, thankfully, is a rare criminal charge and is most often charged in situations that do not justify the label. Domestic violence offenses very often result in police overcharging defendants with crimes that they did not actually commit. Kidnapping is often one of those offenses. Overcharging is not simply a vindictive move on behalf of police and prosecutors. It serves a purpose. Those in the criminal justice system will not hesitate to levy serious crimes against someone that they know they cannot prove, because it allows police and prosecutors to leverage the charges and force a plea agreement out of hapless defendants. Do not allow the system to take advantage of you. Call a premier Sarasota criminal defense lawyer right away to find out your options.Speak to Our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law have years of criminal defense experience under their belts. We can analyze a case and plan a defense that will be tailored specifically to your case. Don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage by the system, allow us to present an effective defense on your behalf. Call today for a consultation at 727-897-5413.