Kidnapping offenses often involve the unlawful taking of someone for ransom, to commit a felony, or to inflict bodily harm. Sometimes, kidnapping is related to domestic violence charges. Both federal and Florida laws include heavy fines and severe criminal penalties, including potential mandatory/minimum sentences of up to 25 years and maximum potential sentences of up to life. Mr. Petruzzi has represented numerous individuals charged with, or under investigation for, kidnapping offenses by both federal and state authorities. His experience and knowledge serve as an invaluable asset to his clients.
Federal kidnapping offenses are investigated and prosecuted by various agencies, including the FBI, Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice. Some common federal statutes criminalizing kidnapping include:
18 USC Sec. 1201 –
(a) Whoever unlawfully seizes, confines, inveigles, decoys, kidnaps, abducts, or carries away and holds for ransom or reward or otherwise any person, except in the case of a minor by the parent thereof, when –
(1) The person is willfully transported in interstate or foreign commerce, regardless of whether the person was alive when transported across a state boundary, or the offender travels in interstate or foreign commerce or uses the mail or any means, facility, or instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce in committing or in furtherance of the commission
of the offense;
(2) Any such act against the person is done within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States;
(3) Any such act against the person is done within the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States as defined in section 46501 of title 49;
(4) The person is a foreign official, an internationally protected person, or an official guest as those terms are defined in section 1116(b) of this title; or
(5) The person is among those officers and employees described in section 1114 of this title and any such act against the person is done while the person is engaged in, or on account of, the performance of official duties, shall be punished by imprisonment for any term of years or for life and, if the death of any person results, shall be punished by death or life
(b) With respect to subsection (a)(1), above, the failure to release the victim within twenty-four hours after he shall have been unlawfully seized, confined, inveigled, decoyed, kidnapped, abducted, or carried away shall create a rebuttable presumption that such person has been transported in interstate or foreign commerce. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, the fact that the presumption under this section has not yet taken effect does not preclude a Federal investigation of a possible violation of this section before the 24-hour period has ended.
(c) If two or more persons conspire to violate this section and one or more of such persons do any overt act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be punished by imprisonment for any term of years or for life.
(d) Whoever attempts to violate subsection (a) shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than twenty years.
Florida kidnapping offenses are investigated and prosecuted by various state and local law enforcement agencies. Some common Florida statutes criminalizing kidnapping include:
787.01 Kidnapping; kidnapping of child under age 13, aggravating circumstances. –
(1) (a) The term “kidnapping” means forcibly, secretly, or by threat confining, abducting, or imprisoning another person against her or his will and without lawful authority, with 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.
4. Interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function.
(b) Confinement of a child under the age of 13 is against her or his will within the meaning of this subsection if such confinement is without the consent of her or his parent or legal guardian.
(3) (a) A person who commits the offense of kidnapping upon a child under the age of 13 and who, in the course of committing the offense, commits one or more of the following:
1. Aggravated child abuse, as defined in s. 827.03.
2. Sexual battery, as defined in chapter 794, against the child;
(b) Pursuant to s. 775.021(4), nothing contained herein shall be construed to prohibit the imposition of separate judgments and sentences for the life felony described in paragraph
(a) and for each separate offense enumerated in subparagraphs (a)1.-5.
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