A Florida man recently stole what he must have assumed was an unoccupied car that was running with the keys in it. However, there was a baby inside of the Kia Rio, and while the suspect was fleeing from police, he stopped and dropped the baby off at a store before continuing to flee from law enforcement, as shown by surveillance camera. The incident occurred in West Palm Beach, and as reported by Oxygen, the baby was unharmed and found asleep when police found it and reunited it with its mother roughly 30 minutes after the suspect dropped it off. In such a bizarre case, if the suspect is found, one might assume that he would be charged with kidnapping. While prosecutors might attempt to slap these charges on in addition to auto theft and fleeing from law enforcement, an experienced attorney could be able to have the kidnapping charges dropped.
Three Prong Test for Kidnapping Charges to Stick in Florida
In order for a person to be charged with kidnapping, the act must pass Florida’s “Three Prong Test,” set by the Florida Supreme Court in the landmark case Faison v. State, 426 So. 2d at 965. As such, in order for the act to be considered kidnapping or abduction, all three of the following criteria must be met:
- The act of kidnapping must not be slight, inconsequential and incidental to the other crime committed;
- The act of kidnapping must not be inherent in the nature of the other crime; and
- The act of kidnapping must have some significance independent of the other crime in that it makes the other crime substantially easier to carry out and less likely to be detected.
It would be difficult for prosecutors to successfully convict the man because it would be very difficult to prove that the suspect had any intent to kidnap the baby; kidnapping has no significance to auto theft; and by stopping and dropping the baby off while he was being chased, it showed that the kidnapping did not make the crime of auto theft easier to carry out or less likely to be detected.
When Intent is Not Necessary to Charge the Defendant with an Additional Offense
When some types of offenses are committed in the commission of another crime, the defendant will face these charges as well as the other crime. For example, if you broke into someone’s home to steal a TV and in the process caused an occupant’s death, whether that was your intent or not, you will be charged with first degree murder in addition to burglary. It is important to work with an attorney who has experience defending against all types of offenses so as to best set yourself up for success in and out of the courtroom.
You Need to Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Whenever you are up against multiple charges, the sentence that you face can quickly stack up to multiple decades. You need an attorney who knows how to aggressively and successfully defend your rights. Reach out to the West Palm Beach criminal defense team at the Skier Law Firm today for help.