Kidnapping Defense Lawyer in Naples
Federal criminal attorneys proudly representing Collier County, Florida
Kidnapping is a serious felony under both Florida and federal criminal codes. The gravity of this offense prompts prosecutors to pursue aggressively the conviction of accused kidnappers. Accusations of kidnapping sometimes occur during child custody disputes when a noncustodial parent takes a minor child without the custodial parent’s permission. However, kidnapping in Naples, Florida, often goes beyond family disagreements. Violent criminals may seize people for the purpose of sexual assault, extortion or furtherance of a human trafficking operation. Regardless of the source of criminal allegations, a knowledgeable Naples kidnapping defense lawyer can prepare a strategic response to criminal charges.
Kidnapping at the federal level
State authorities handle most local kidnapping cases. Although state sentencing guidelines are severe, the consequences increase for defendants facing federal prosecution.
Federal criminal penalties include:
- prison terms between 3 years and life in prison
- death penalty for kidnapping that resulted in death
Penalties are so strong because society views kidnapping as an inherently violent act that deprives people of their physical freedom and autonomy. Criminal statutes define the offense as the taking and holding of a person against his or her will. The act typically includes transporting the person, but holding someone in the home can also be interpreted as kidnapping. Kidnappers may face additional charges related to acts like rape, battery, sexual assault, robbery and even murder committed against the victim.
Federal authorities will prosecute a kidnapping case when:
- a victim is moved across state or international borders.
- the accused used the mail system or other interstate or foreign commerce to commit the kidnapping.
- the accused allegedly committed the offense within a special maritime jurisdiction or U.S. territory.
- the accused allegedly committed the offense within a special aircraft jurisdiction.
- the victim is an official guest of the country, an internationally protected person or foreign official.
- the victim is a U.S. government officer or employee who was performing official duties.
Do not say anything that might incriminate you. Speak with an attorney first.
Influence of violence on conviction
Forcibly holding someone is an important element of this offense. The possibility of conviction is strongly influenced by these factors:
- presence of physical restraint
- distance that a victim was transported
- additional crimes against the victim, like sexual assault
- issuance of verbal threats
A kidnapping defense attorney can question, challenge or strive to minimize evidence that supports any of these factors. Kidnapping cases tend to be highly dependent on witness testimony. In some situations, the credibility of a witness may be vulnerable to the scrutiny of a defense attorney.
Legal support matters during an investigation
Criminal investigators may seek to interview suspects when trying to build a case. Anyone contacted regarding a kidnapping case could be vulnerable to criminal charges. Conspiring to support the actions of someone who conducts a kidnapping is an equally serious offense. Guidance from an attorney may inform someone about rights, including the option to decline answering questions. Even being a person of interest in a kidnapping case can produce reputational damage that impacts a person’s happiness or livelihood. An attorney may help an individual address the matter while limiting contact with detectives.
Retain a qualified criminal defense lawyer in Naples
Should authorities issue criminal charges related to kidnapping against someone, legal representation becomes vital. Prosecutors typically have collected substantial evidence prior to filing charges, but this does not mean that they can necessarily convince a jury or withstand challenges from defense counsel. The legal team at Joffe Law, P.A. in Naples, Florida, possesses significant experience defending people from serious criminal allegations. We thoroughly examine every fact within a case to identify opportunities to cast doubt on the evidence. Our intimate knowledge of federal court procedures and standards enables us to demand the fair treatment of defendants at every stage. Contact our office today to learn more about your rights and options before speaking with investigators or accepting a plea deal without the benefit of our insights.
Kidnapping Defense FAQs
Are there any defense strategies for kidnapping charges?
Depending on what happened, a defendant may have several options to draw upon when contesting kidnapping charges. Potential defenses include showing that the person consented to travel with the defendant or the defendant made a mistake without knowing that it could be a crime. Mental health problems may also contribute to a defense. In some cases, evidence may indicate that the person was fleeing domestic violence with children.
What is the difference between federal criminal kidnapping and international parental kidnapping?
Among other things, Statute 18 U.S. Code Section 1201 makes moving someone without consent across state or international borders a crime. However, this code section excludes parents accused of kidnapping minor children and taking them out of the country. Section 1204 of that statute applies to parents accused of unlawfully removing a child from the country. The penalties differ with violations of Section 1201 potentially authorizing life in prison whereas an international parental kidnapping conviction calls for a 3-year prison sentence.
Can someone accused of helping a kidnapper be convicted of kidnapping?
Aiding someone in the commission of a kidnapping exposes an individual to the same level of criminal prosecution as those who directly took a person without consent. Statute 18 U.S. Code Section 1201, Subsection (c) specifically states that anyone who commits an “overt act” to contribute to a kidnapping conspiracy can be punished in the same manner as those who physically committed the abduction.