Kidnapping / False Imprisonment
People generally have the freedom to go where they want when they want, which is why it is a crime if a person restrains or confines another individual against his or her will. Depending on the specific circumstances of the alleged criminal offense, these types of actions can result in either false imprisonment or kidnapping charges.
These types of crimes are commonly associated with family disputes and domestic violence situations. Both charges have extremely serious consequences, including possibly being sentenced to life in prison.
Tallahassee Kidnapping Lawyer
Have you been charged with some form of illegally detaining another person in Northern Florida? You will want to make sure that you have an experienced Tallahassee false imprisonment attorney that will fight to protect your rights and your future.
Pumphrey Law aggressively defends people throughout Leon County and many surrounding areas such as Calhoun County, Gulf County, Holmes County, Okaloosa County, and Walton County. Our firm will provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation as soon as you call (850) 681-7777.
Leon County Kidnapping / False Imprisonment Overview
- What is the difference between false imprisonment and kidnapping?
- Are there other additional criminal charges a person might face?
- What defenses might a person have against these allegations?
While some people use false imprisonment and kidnapping interchangeably, these are different criminal charges. The definitions and penalties as provided under Chapter 787 of the Florida Statutes are as follows:
- Kidnapping, Florida Statute § 787.01 — Forcibly, secretly, or by threat confining, abducting, or imprisoning another person against her or his will and without lawful authority, with intent to hold him or her for ransom or reward or as a shield or hostage, commit or facilitate commission of any felony, inflict bodily harm upon or to terrorize the victim or another person, or interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function. This is a first-degree felony punishable by up to life in prison.
- False Imprisonment, Florida Statute § 787.02 — Forcibly, by threat, or secretly confining, abducting, imprisoning, or restraining another person without lawful authority and against her or his will. This is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
It is important that these both may be considered aggravated offenses if the victim involved in either crime was a child under the age of 13 and the alleged offender, in the course of committing the offense, also committed one or more of the following:
- Aggravated child abuse
- Sexual battery against the child
- Lewd or lascivious battery, molestation, conduct, or exhibition
- Procurement of the child for prostitution, or forcing, compelling or coercing the child to become a prostitute
- Exploitation of the child or allowing the child to be exploited
- A human trafficking violation
Aggravated kidnapping is a life felony and aggravated false imprisonment is a first-degree felony, and both are punishable by up to life in prison.
There are other crimes listed in Chapter 787 of the Florida Statutes that can be related to false imprisonment or kidnapping charges:
- Luring or Enticing a Child, Florida Statute § 787.025 — It is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 if a person 18 years of age or older intentionally lures or entices, or attempts to lure or entice, a child under the age of 12 into a structure, dwelling, or conveyance for an unlawful purpose. If the alleged offender has been previously convicted this criminal offense, sexual battery, lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of persons less than 16 years of age, or a prohibited computer transmission involving a victim less than 16 years of age, this is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
- Interference with Custody, Florida Statute § 787.03 — It is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 if a person without lawful authority knowingly or recklessly takes or entices, or aids, abets, hires, or otherwise procures another person to take or entice any minor or incompetent person from the custody of the minor’s or incompetent person’s parent, guardian, public agency, or any other lawful custodian. It is also a third-degree felony if an alleged offender takes similar actions with malicious intent to deprive another person of his or her right to custody of the minor or incompetent person when there is no court order determining rights to custody or visitation.
- Removing Minors From State or Concealing Minors Contrary to State Agency Order or Court Order, Florida Statute § 787.04 — It is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 if a person leads, takes, entices, or removes a minor beyond state limits, or conceals the location of a minor either:
- In violation of a court order with personal knowledge of the order
- Without the permission of the court in which the action or proceeding is pending
- After having received actual or constructive notice of an investigation, action, or proceeding concerning alleged abuse or neglect of such minor and without the permission of the state agency or court in which the investigation, action, or proceeding is pending
- And fails to produce a minor in the court or deliver a minor to the person designated by the court after having carried any minor beyond state limits whose custody is involved in any action or proceeding pending in Florida pursuant to the order of the court in which the action or proceeding is pending or pursuant to the permission of the court.
Depending on the specifics involved in these cases, there may be affirmative defenses that justify or excuse an alleged offender’s actions. In other cases, there may be weaknesses in the prosecution’s case that can be attacked. Some examples of both include, but are not limited to:
- Alleged offender committed act under coercion, compulsion, or duress
- Alleged offender reasonably believed his or her actions were necessary to prevent alleged victim from being seriously injured
- Alleged victim consented to alleged false imprisonment or kidnapping
- False allegations
- Lack of evidence
- Mistaken identity
- No criminal intent
Find a False Imprisonment Lawyer in Tallahassee
If you have been accused of confining another person against his or her will, you should not delay in reaching out to get the help of a knowledgeable Tallahassee kidnapping attorney. Pumphrey Law represents clients in several Northern Florida locations, including Blountstown, Bonifay, Crestview, De Funiak Springs, Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Freeport, Mary Esther, Niceville, Port St. Joe, and Wewahitchka.
The Pumphrey Law is committed to getting the most favorable outcome to these types of cases, and they will fight to have criminal charges either reduced or totally dismissed. Call (850) 681-7777 right now to set up a free legal consultation that will allow our firm to review your case and answer all of your questions.
Article last updated August 5, 2016.
Attorney Don Pumphrey Jr. is a former prosecutor, former law enforcement officer, and a successful and experienced criminal defense attorney.