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A South Carolina woman is facing charges of kidnapping for acts committed over eighteen years ago after a woman was determined to be the baby who had been taken from a Jacksonville hospital’s maternity ward in July of 1998. According to reports, the woman had started to question whether or not the person she knew as her mother was actually her true biological mother and, after DNA samples were tested, learned the truth – she was raised by a woman who allegedly kidnapped her shortly after she was born. The woman’s family members, who still reside in the Jacksonville area, are understandably elated to discover the woman is alive and well.

Kidnapping And Florida Law

Florida Statute Section 787.01 defines kidnapping as well as aggravating factors associated with the crime. The act itself must have been committed with force, by threat, or in secret and must have involved the confinement, abduction, or imprisonment of someone against their will. For those under the age of thirteen, the confinement must have been without the consent of their parent or legal guardian. As a felony of the first degree, a conviction for kidnapping carries with it a punishment of up to thirty years in prison as well as up to a $10,000 fine. When aggravating circumstances are present, the crime is classified as a life felony; cases in which this is applicable include those in which the person kidnaps a child under thirteen years of age along with committing one or more additional offenses including those associated with aggravated child abuse, sexual battery, various lewd or lascivious acts, prostitution-related acts, exploitation of the child, or human trafficking.

What’s Your Defense?

Several defenses may be available to one accused of kidnapping, including a lack of intent, the consent of either the kidnapped person or their parent or legal guardian. Engaging a criminal defense attorney right away allows your attorney to meet with prosecutors during the initial steps of the process to begin working on your behalf from the start; in some cases during this time the prosecution may learn that they do not have enough evidence to support the kidnapping charges and lesser charges may be filed instead of the more serious felony charges of kidnapping.

Contact Deric Zacca, P.A. For All Of Your Criminal Defense Needs

If you have been charged with a crime, learning about your rights and responsibilities under Florida law is a priority. Attorney Deric Zacca will help you to fully understand your situation and what you can expect to happen and will work hard on your behalf to ensure you get the best possible results. Contact Deric Zacca, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale today.