Florida Court Analyzes Kidnapping Crimes in the Context of Other Offenses

It is not uncommon for people to be charged with multiple crimes stemming from a singular incident. While the State can lawfully bring such charges, the prosecution must nonetheless prove the discrete elements of each offense in order to obtain guilty verdicts. If the prosecution fails to meet this burden, it should not be able to obtain a valid conviction. Recently, a Florida court discussed what the State must show to establish guilt for kidnapping charges arising out of an armed robbery in a case in which it ultimately denied the defendant’s appeal. If you are accused of a violent offense, it is in your best interest to speak to a Clearwater kidnapping defense lawyer about your possible defenses.

History of the Case

It is reported that the defendant was charged with numerous crimes, including armed robbery and kidnapping. He was found guilty and sentenced to live in prison as a repeat offender on the robbery and kidnapping charges. He did not contest his sentence or armed robbery conviction and, therefore, would spend life in prison regardless of the outcome of any appeal. He appealed regardless, arguing that his kidnapping conviction did not pass the Faison test and, therefore, should be vacated.

Proving Guilt for Kidnapping in the Context of Other Offenses

The court denied the defendant’s appeal and affirmed his conviction. In doing so, it explained that in Faison v. State, the Florida Supreme Court established a test for determining if there was sufficient evidence to convict a defendant for kidnapping, in addition to a primary offense, if the confinement or taking in question was allegedly done to assist the primary offense.

Under the Faison test, the State must show that the defendant confined or moved the victim in a way that was not incidental to the primary offense or slight or inconsequential, was not of the kind that inherently happens due to the nature of the primary offense, and has some significance, independent of the primary offense.

In the subject case, the court found that while there were some similarities between the cases the defendant cited and his case, he failed to produce evidence sufficient to show that the trial court erred in allowing him to be convicted on the kidnapping charges, absent any objection. As there was no error in the defendant’s kidnapping convictions, the court found that the defendant failed to show that the trial court fundamentally erred in failing to acquit him of the kidnapping charges. Thus, it denied his appeal.

Talk to a Trusted Clearwater Attorney

Kidnapping is a serious charge that carries substantial penalties, but the State is often unable to produce the evidence needed to show that a person charged with kidnapping should be found guilty. If you are accused of kidnapping or another crime, it is wise to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. The trusted Clearwater kidnapping defense attorneys of Hanlon Law can advise you of your rights and help you to seek the best outcome possible under the facts of your case. You can reach Hanlon Law via the online form or by calling 727-897-5413 to set up a conference.

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