Kidnapping Criminal Defense Attorney In Okaloosa County

Criminal Defense Law Firm For An Arrest For Kidnapping in Fort Walton Beach, Destin Or Anywhere In Okaloosa County

Florida Statute 787.01 defines kidnapping as a person without legal authority, to forcibly, secretly or by threat, confine, abduct or imprison another person against their will, with intent to do any of the following:

  1. Collect a ransom, or use as a shield or hostage;
  2. Commit or take part in the commission of a felony;
  3. Inflict mental or physical harm;
  4. Interfere with the duties of a governmental or political function.

The Penalties For Kidnapping In Okaloosa County, Florida

Kidnapping is considered a violent crime and a first degree felony punishable by:

  • Up to thirty (30) years imprisonment or if provided by statute, up to life;
  • Up to life on probation;
  • Up to $10,000.00 in fines.

If there are aggravating circumstances, such as the victim is a child under the age of thirteen (13), and was mentally, physically or sexually abused in some way, it is a life felony punishable by a life term imprisonment and up to $15,000.00 in fines. A parent that kidnaps their own child is not exempt from criminal liability.

What Okaloosa County Prosecutors Need To Prove Kidnapping

In order to prove kidnapping there are three elements the state has the burden of proving beyond reasonable doubt.

  1. Defendant forcibly, secretly or by threat held the victim against their will.
  2. Defendant had no legal authority for confinement.
  3. Intent to:
    • Collect a ransom, or use as a shield or hostage
    • Commit or take part in the commission of a felony
    • Inflict mental or physical harm
    • Interfere with the duties of a governmental or political function.

If the victim is a child under the age of thirteen, then State must also prove that at the time of the confinement, the victim was under the age of thirteen (13) and was mentally, physically or in some way sexually abused.

Criminal Defense Strategies and Defenses For Kidnapping Charges

One of the most common defenses against the charge of Kidnapping is reasonable doubt based on a lack of specific intent. The State has the burden of proving all the elements of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

In addition to reasonable doubt, in order to prove kidnapping, the prosecutor has to prove that the confinement was intentional and not incidental during the commission of a crime and confinement is more than likely to accompany the crime.

In other words if the alleged “kidnapping” was during the robbery of a convenience store and the Defendant told the store clerk to “stay where you are and don’t move” it would likely not be considered Kidnapping, but it could be construed as false imprisonment or some other criminal charge.

It is important to have a criminal defense attorney that knows how to handle and properly defend a Kidnapping accusation. If you have been charged with Kidnapping in Fort Walton Beach, Destin, or anywhere in Okaloosa County & Walton County, I would invite you call my office for a free consultation.