KidnappingWhether you are a fan of crime dramas or watch the news on a daily basis, you have heard of kidnapping. Perhaps you even remember the warnings from your childhood. Mother always told you to never accept a ride from a stranger. But do you really know what kidnapping is? The crime is more than just taking a child from their guardians.

What Is Kidnapping?

Kidnapping is the unlawful taking of any person without their consent. It doesn’t matter if the person taken is an adult or child. If they are taken by force or fraud, they are considered to have been kidnapped.

A person can also be charged with kidnapping when they confine another person against their will, when at least one of these five criteria are met:

  • Holding the person for reward or ransom
  • Using the person as a shield or hostage
  • Interfering with a governmental function
  • During the commission of a felony
  • Inflicting terror or injury upon the victim

State or Federal Offense?

Whether a kidnapping charge is considered a state or federal offense depends on the circumstances. While each state may have its own laws, it is generally considered a state charge if the person is moved over a specific distance by force or held against their will for a significant amount of time. To be charged with a federal offense, the act must cross state lines.

If You Are Convicted

If you are convicted of kidnapping, you will be subject to severe penalties. Some of these penalties may include:

  • Jail or prison time
  • Probation and/or parole
  • Counseling
  • Fines and/or restitution
  • Death penalty
  • Other sentences

Factors Considered During Sentencing

No two crimes are the same, and those convicted of kidnapping may be treated differently from one another. Factors considered in sentencing include criminal history, current criminal status and any aggravating factors. A judge’s bias may also come into play during a sentencing hearing.

If you have been arrested and charged with kidnapping, you need an attorney. Call our offices to speak with a criminal defense lawyer in Orlando. We will review your case at no cost to you and advise you of your options. Call now or browse our website to learn how we can assist you.