A 37-year-old man is facing kidnapping charges after police say he held his ex-girlfriend and her parents at gunpoint and forced them to withdraw thousands of dollars from a pair of ATMs. Police say Jaddier Thomas Sanchez grabbed his former girlfriend’s mother by the hair and forced her father into their car. He then directed the pair to get their 18-year-old daughter who he had dated for around a month.
Sanchez forced the young woman into the vehicle and directed her to head north. Eventually, he forced her parents out of the car and left them bound and gagged on the side of the road. According to the young woman, she was repeatedly hit in the face. Sanchez also threatened to kill her several times. He was eventually arrested in Virginia.
He is facing federal charges related to the kidnapping. He is also facing state charges in Virginia and in Florida.
Can You Face Charges in Multiple States for the Same Crime?
Sort of. You can’t be tried twice for the same crime under double jeopardy, but the law isn’t as overarching as you might think. Consider the situation above. While you can argue that the entire event was one crime, elements of the criminal act took place in both Florida and Virginia and because the defendant crossed state lines in the commission of a felony, the federal government is also involved. So essentially, because the crime was committed in multiple states, and was the result of a continuous criminal act, it can be charged individually in each state. That doesn’t mean that it happens often. In fact, it almost never happens.
In the rare event that the federal government takes a case that has been already tried at the state level, it’s probably because the prosecution failed or didn’t produce a severe enough sentence for the prosecution’s liking. In some cases, entire trials have been vacated to allow a second trial of an acquitted defendant to move forward on the basis that the judge presiding over the case was paid off.
So while it’s unlikely that the defendant will face both federal and state charges, it would be okay if both Florida and Virginia pursued separate cases. It may be simpler, however, to just allow the feds to try the case.
The defendant stands accused of kidnapping, robbery with a firearm, assault, battery, and more. Had he not been pulled over in Virginia, the young woman may not have survived the event.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’ve been charged with a serious crime by the federal government, the sentencing rules, procedural rules, and law isn’t the same as if you were charged by state authorities. For that reason, you need a skilled West Palm Beach criminal attorney with experience trying cases in federal court. Call The Skier Law Firm, P.A. today to learn more about how we can help.