Florida Kidnapping/Abduction Laws


Fla. Stat. § 787.01 defines kidnapping as forcibly, secretly, or by threat confining, abducting, or imprisoning another person against her or his will and without lawful authority, with intent to:

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

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 aggravated child abuse; sexual battery; lewd or lascivious battery, lewd or lascivious molestation, lewd or lascivious conduct, or lewd or lascivious exhibition; prostitution, upon the child; or exploitation of the child or allowing the child to be exploited, commits a life felony.

One of the elements of the kidnapping statute is the confinement, abduction or imprisonment of another with the intent to commit or facilitate the commission of a felony.[i] The victim’s state of mind is relevant as an element of kidnapping to show that s/he was forcibly abducted against his or her will.[ii]

A person who kidnaps a person is guilty of a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life.  According to Fla. Stat. § 775.083, in lieu of imprisonment a felony of the first degree is punishable by a fine of $ 10,000.  Fla. Stat. § 775.082 states that a life felony committed on or after July 1, 1995, is punishable by a term of imprisonment for life or by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life imprisonment.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement aims to promote public safety and strengthen domestic security by providing services in partnership with local, state, and federal criminal justice agencies to prevent, investigate, and solve crimes.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement

[i] Black v. State, 630 So. 2d 609, 618 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1st Dist. 1993)

[ii] Peede v. State, 474 So. 2d 808 (Fla. 1985)