Charges in Multiple States
A Missouri woman was recently sentenced to 20 years in Florida state prison for her part in a series of crimes with her now-deceased boyfriend. The woman was found guilty of robbing a store, holding a family hostage at gunpoint, stealing a vehicle, and having a standoff shooting with police. She pled no contest to home invasion robbery, robbery with a firearm, three counts of false imprisonment, and grand theft auto, according to The Joplin Globe. She was shot in the leg during the shootout, while her boyfriend was killed. Before that, she and her boyfriend had travelled throughout Missouri and Alabama allegedly committing a dozen other armed robbery, false imprisonment, and theft crimes. She is scheduled to be released and appear before Alabama and Missouri courts for the crimes that she allegedly committed there.
The state that the crime occurred in is the state that the defendant will be tried in. For example, if you live in Georgia and were charged with a crime in Florida, you will have to come to Florida, assuming that you get out on bail, to various court hearings, usually multiple times. This can obviously become an issue for someone who lives far away from the place that they allegedly committed the act, yet it is crucial to show up in court when you are requested. Failing to do so could make your situation much worse than it currently is.
It is unlawful to go home after being charged with a crime, or refusing to show up to a court hearing at another state for an alleged crime after you went home. By doing so, you risk further penalties. Furthermore, all states are required to extradite any person on the request of another state.
Multiple Charges for the Same Offense
You cannot be charged for the same crime twice, at least you cannot be charged for that crime twice in the same state. If, for example, a defendant abducted a person in Georgia and drove across the state line to Florida with that person still in their unlawful control, they could be charged once in Georgia and once in Florida for kidnapping or unlawful arrest. The same goes for reckless driving or evading police, leading to a car chase that crosses state lines. Or, drug trafficking, racketeering, and other crimes that cross state boundaries may be tried as federal offenses instead of state offenses. Your attorney will need to know how to proceed in any of these complex scenarios.
Reach Out to an Experienced West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Due to the ease of travel, it is not uncommon to for a person to be charged with committing crimes in multiple states, especially if they live close to one or more state borders. If you have been charged with multiple misdemeanors or felonies in two or more states, you will need an attorney fully capable of defending your rights. Contact the experienced West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyers at the Skier Law Firm today for assistance with your case.