Kidnapping in Florida

If accused of Kidnapping, you need to know the:

Definition of Kidnapping

Under Florida Statute Florida Statute 787.01, the crime of Kidnapping is committed when a person forcibly, secretly, or by threat confines, abducts, or imprisons another person against their will, without lawful authority, with the intent to:

  1. Hold for ransom or reward or as a shield or hostage;
  2. Commit or facilitate commission of any felony;
  3. Inflict bodily harm upon or to terrorize the victim or another person; or
  4. Interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function.

Penalties for Kidnapping

The crime of Kidnapping is classified as a First Degree Felony and is assigned a Level 9 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code.

If convicted of Kidnapping, a judge is required to impose a minimum prison sentence of 48 months in prison absent grounds to impose a downward departure sentence and can also impose any combination of the following penalties:

  • Up to life in prison.
  • Up to life on probation.
  • Up to $10,000 in fines.

Defenses to Kidnapping

In addition to the pretrial defenses and trial defenses that can be raised in any criminal case, specific defenses to the crime of Kidnapping are:

Incidental Confinement

There can be no kidnapping if the only confinement involved is incidental to, and likely to naturally accompany, the underlying felony. Rather, it is the intentional confinement of a victim, not their incidental movement, that justifies the kidnapping conviction. [1]

As a result, someone who holds up a convenience store clerk cannot be convicted of Kidnapping by telling someone to stand in a certain spot. (However, they could be convicted of False Imprisonment.)

Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby

If you have been arrested or charged with the crime of Kidnapping in Central Florida or the greater Orlando area, please contact Criminal Defense Lawyer today.

The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.


  1. Faison v. State of Florida, 426 So. 2d 963 (Fla. 1983)