Kidnapping - Florida Statute 787.01 | West Palm Beach Crime Lawyer
This is a serious crime that is punishable up to life in prison. Kidnapping is an intentional confinement of the victim against their will. Kidnapping happens in many different scenarios. For example, holding a person hostage so the criminal can get away, keeping the person and negotiating their ransom, or tying up the victim of your crime so you can get away are a few examples of kidnapping.
What the State has to Prove to Convict You of the Crime of Kidnapping
Florida Statute 787.01 says that the state prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt:
- You confined, captured, imprisoned by force, by secret, or by threat the victim without their consent;
- You had no legal power to do so; and
- You operated with intent to:
- Ransom the person or use them as a human shield or hostage;
- Complete or help complete a felony;
- Cause physical injury or terrorize the victim or another person; or
- Frustrate the performance of any governmental or political role.
Kidnapping to Help Commit a Felony
One of the forms of kidnapping is where the defendant kidnapped to help commit a felony. When the state prosecutor is alleging this, the state prosecutor is going to have to show that the confining, capturing, and imprisoning:
- Cannot be a small, minor, or incidental part of a felony;
- Must not be necessarily part of the felony; and
- Must be important outside the felony to help commit the felony or hide it.
There are times where the felony being committed and the kidnapping get confused.
A “stick’em up” robbery on the street is not a kidnapping, but forcing the victim into a dark alley to rob him is considered kidnapping.
The rapist moving a rape victim from different rooms inside a house for the comfort of the rapist is not a kidnapping, but the rapist forcing the victim from a public place to a private place is kidnapping.
A robber telling a store clerk to walk over and open a cash register is not a kidnapping, but telling the clerk to go inside the store’s fridge and locking it so the robber can escape is kidnapping.
Examples taken from Carron v. State , 414 So.2d 288 (Fla. 2d DCA 1982).
Other Crimes Committed While Committing Kidnapping
Have you ever climbed up to the top of a tree and managed to break many of the branches on the way up? The crime of kidnapping is like that because you break many other laws on the way up to kidnapping. If a state prosecutor cannot prove kidnapping, the prosecutor might choose to “down-file” the case to another “lower branch” charge such as attempt, assault, battery, false imprisonment, or aggravated assault which might be more easily proven.
If a Child is Involved
If the victim of the kidnapping is under 13 years of age, then the defendant must have the consent of the parent or guardian or the defendant is considered to have confined the child against the child’s will.
If a person kidnaps a child under 13 and commits:
- Aggravated child abuse under Florida Statute 827.03;
- Sexual battery against the child under Florida Statutes chapter 794;
- Lewd or lascivious battery, lewd or lascivious molestation, lewd or lascivious conduct, or lewd or lascivious exhibition under Florida Statute 800.04 or Florida Statute 847.0135(5);
- Prostitution on a child; or
- Exploiting the child.
They commit a life felony which is punishable up to life in prison and a $15,000 fine.
Punishment for Kidnaping
Kidnapping is a first-degree felony that is punishable up to life in prison with a $10,000 fine. This crime is ranked a level 9 under the Florida Criminal Punishment Code.
Contact the Law Office of Roger P. Foley, P.A.
If you have been arrested and charged with kidnapping, contact our Wellington Kidnapping Attorneys so we can analyze the facts of your case and help defend your case to the full extent of the law.