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Kidnapping, or child abduction, has been classified into three different types:

According to the Florida Senate, in 1999 approximately 262,100 children were kidnapped, and seventy-eight (78%) percent of those victims were taken by a family member. Even today, allegations of kidnapping usually involve a family member rather than a stranger. 

Attorney for Kidnapping Crimes in Pensacola, FL

Criminal defense lawyer John Terrezza has countless hours of experience in criminal law and is a zealous advocate for justice. Mr. Terrezza has experience fighting criminal cases in the courtrooms in Pensacola in Escambia County, Milton in Santa Rosa County, and in federal court in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.

If you were arrested for kidnapping in the Florida Panhandle, particularly in Pensacola in Escambia County or Milton in Santa Rosa County, then contact an attorney who can help you protect your rights.

Call John Terrezza at (850) 764-5291 to discuss your charges, the potential penalties for this serious felony offense, and for more information about how he can help you fight for a dismissal of the charges.

Elements of Kidnapping under Florida Statute §787.01

Florida law, under Statute §787.01, defines kidnapping as secretly, forcibly, or by threat, confining, imprisoning, or abducting another, without lawful authority, and against their will, with the intent to do one of the following:

  1. use as a shield, hostage, or to hold for ransom;
  2. interfere with the performance of any government or political function;
  3. inflict bodily harm or to terrorize the victim or another person; or
  4. commit or aid in committing a felony.

Kidnapping is a first-degree felony, potentially punishable by life in prison.

Additionally, §787.01 states that a defendant is guilty of a life felony when he or she kidnaps a child under the age of 13 and, in the course of a kidnapping, commits one or more of the following:

This form of kidnapping is charged as a life felony punishable by a mandatory minimum of 30 years and a statutory maximum of life in prison. (See Florida Statutes §§775.082, 775.083, 775.084 for a full explanation of the potential punishments punishment.)

While most people believe that false imprisonment and kidnapping are synonyms under Florida law, they are distinct offenses that may be charged separately and have different potential penalties and punishment.

Additionally, kidnapping can potentially have federal or international implications. Many states, including Florida, have adopted the Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act (UCAPA), which allows the State, or an individual with legal custody or guardianship of a child, to bring a motion for custody of that child if he or she is at risk of being abducted. The motion is effective across the several states that have enacted the UCAPA.

Additional Resources

Florida Statute 787.01 - Kidnapping - Visit the official website for the Florida Senate to find the full statutory language in Florida Statute 787.01. Find legal definitions, elements of the offense, and the potential penalties for each kind of kidnapping in Florida. 

Resource Manual for Crimes of Federal Kidnapping - Visit the official website for the United States Justice Department to find information in the criminal resource manual about kidnapping in the federal jurisdiction.

Find a Defense Attorney for Kidnapping in Escambia County, Florida

If you or someone you know has been charged with kidnapping or any other crimes involving domestic violence, finding an attorney who will fight for your rights is imperative. Let John Terrezza, an experienced criminal defense attorney in Pensacola, Florida, help you.

Call (850) 764-5291 or go online for a free evaluation of the facts of your case.

Related crimes of violence include false imprisonment, child abduction, and interfering with child custody.

The consequences of kidnapping can have implications at the local, state, federal, and even international level. If you were arrested for kidnapping in Pensacola in Escambia County or Milton in Santa Rosa, County, then you will need an attorney who will work hard to give you the best defense possible. Contact attorney John Terrezza.

This article was last updated on Wednesday, December 7, 2016.