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Few criminal offenses in Florida are treated as seriously as kidnapping, which makes it imperative to consult with an experienced lawyer if you or a family member have been charged or are under investigation. Never speak to the police without first consulting a lawyer, as detectives will do everything in their power to obtain a confession or other incriminating statements from a suspect in a kidnapping case. This applies to accomplices or any person that may have participated or known about the offense. Benjamin Herbst is a South Florida kidnapping lawyer who defends clients in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County. He also fights for anyone charged with kidnapping in Martin County, St. Lucie County and all surrounding jurisdictions. Contact Benjamin anytime at (954) 543-0305 to set up a free consultation or a jail visit. Benjamin will immediately file for a bail review hearing for any defendant that is held without bail on kidnapping charges, and he will fight to make sure the judge does not presume guilt.
Kidnapping is defined as confining, abducting or imprisoning a person against his or her will without legal authority and through the use of force or threat. In cases where a person is held in secret the state is not required to prove force or a threat, and this is typically relevant in cases involving child victims. Kidnapping requires more than just holding someone against their will or in secret, as this alone would be considered false imprisonment. The extra element requires the state to prove that the defendant held the victim for ransom, performed the act to facilitate the commission of a felony, inflicted bodily harm upon either the victim or another person or less commonly committed the act to interfere with some governmental or political function. It is also per se kidnapping to confine a child under the age of 13 against his or her will if such confinement is without the consent of the child’s parent or legal guardian. In essence, false imprisonment of a child under the age of 13 automatically becomes kidnapping. A violation of any of the above scenarios is considered a first-degree felony that is punishable by life in prison. State prosecutors and judges take kidnapping cases extremely seriously, and a thorough defense is key to increasing the odds of a dismissal or acquittal, and avoiding a lengthy prison sentence.
The kidnapping statute also provides an enhanced punishment for any person who is accused of kidnapping a child under 12 years old and also commits a number of different aggravated felonies. These include child abuse, lewd and lascivious conduct, sexual battery and human trafficking. Anyone in violation of this section of the law faces a life felony in addition to the possibility of receiving a consecutive sentence for the aggravated felony. This law applies to accomplices as well as the person who is deemed to be the main defendant, so anyone involved in the offense faces life in prison upon conviction. Benjamin Herbst is an experienced South Florida criminal defense lawyer who fights tooth and nail for all clients that are facing prosecution. He never advises a client to plead guilty unless it is absolutely the best possible outcome after all other avenues have been explored. Benjamin does not back down from a jury trial, and has won numerous felony trials across Florida. Call Benjamin today to set up a phone consultation or an appointment at his Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach office locations. He is also willing to travel anywhere from Miami to Port St. Lucie to meet at a convenient location to discuss the case and any defenses that may be available to you.