A woman who is suspected of kidnapping and robbery across southern Florida was recently arrested by law enforcement authorities, according to CBS Miami. The woman’s suspected criminal partner is still at large. The two reportedly travelled around South Florida, including Miami Gardens, Miramar, North Miami, Pembroke Pines, and West Park, targeting women near banks. They would force the victim into a vehicle, drive them to an ATM, and force them to withdraw cash. The two women are linked to over two dozen such robberies and kidnappings.
What is the Law’s Definition of Kidnapping?
While most people envision kidnapping as a Hollywood scene, in which masked gunmen force a person into the back of a van and later ransom them for millions of dollars, the majority of kidnappings are much less dramatic. In the scenario of the ATM robberies, the kidnapping was a short lived event of just a few minutes in many cases. Still, though, forcing another person to enter a vehicle or go someplace with you is considered kidnapping. According to Florida statute 787.01, the term kidnapping means “forcibly, secretly, or by threat confining, abducting, or imprisoning another person against her or his will,” with the intent being to:
- Use that person as a hostage, shield, of hold them for ransom;
- Use that person to facilitate or commit a felony;
- Terrorize or injure that person or another person; or
- Interfere with a governmental or political function.
The penalties in Florida for one count of kidnapping is a first degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Additionally, aggravated kidnapping, which happens when the victim is younger than 13, is a police officer, or when a dangerous weapon is involved, is a life felony. A life felony is imprisonment for 25 year to life in prison.
Robbery and Armed Robbery
Robbery will be charged as either a first or second degree felony, depending on whether the defendant was armed or not. If armed with a deadly weapon, the defendant may face a first degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Unarmed robbery, or just plain robbery, is a second degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison, according to Florida statute 812.13. As you can see, when multiple felonies are committed in one act, such as kidnapping and robbery, or aggravated kidnapping and armed robbery, the potential prison sentence adds up quite quickly. In such instances of multiple felony charges, it is strongly encouraged to seek out the assistance of the most most qualified, experienced criminal defense lawyer possible.
Contact an West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney as Soon as Possible
If you are facing multiple felony charges, whether you were armed at the time or not, your freedom depends on the experience and commitment of an established criminal defense attorney with a proven history of success in plea bargains as well as trial experience. Contact the West Palm Beach criminal defense attorneys of the Skier Law Firm at (561) 220-3355 today.