Criminal Defense: Kidnapping for Robbery

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Kidnapping for Robbery

In a recent decision by the California Appellate Court, 4 District, the Court held that forcibly moving the victim from her kitchen to her bedroom was enough to constitute kidnapping for robbery. The facts of the case were such that the defendant broke into the home of a 69 year old woman in the middle of the night. The woman heard noises and went to the kitchen where she found the defendant. The defendant promised to not hurt her if she complied with his demands. She located her purse in the kitchen and gave her all the money she had, which amounted to $70. She also gave him an ipod. The defendant then led the woman down the hall to her bedroom where he took a gun and rummaged through her things. He then forced the woman back to the kitchen where he asked for food. The woman gave the defendant ham and beer. The defendant then went to an office where he took other possessions. After nearly an hour, the defendant left the woman’s home. The trial court felt that the fact that the defendant forced the woman from the kitchen to her bedroom, back to the kitchen and then to other parts of her house were enough to be considered “movement” for kidnapping for robbery purposes. The Appellate Court affirmed this holding. Penal Code 209(b)(1) states that “Any person who kidnaps or carries away any individual to commit robbery” is guilty of kidnapping for robbery and “shall only apply if the movement of the victim is beyond that merely incidental to the commission of, and increases the risk of harm to the victim over and above that necessarily present in, the intended” robbery.” The Court of Appeals noted that there is no minimum distance required by the statute. They also noted that harm can be satisfied by physical, emotional or psychological harm. The Court felt that the movements of the woman by the defendant were not incidental to the robbery. Rather, the defendant took possessions in the kitchen on his own. He then forced her to the bedroom where he again rummaged through her possessions on his own. He did not demand that she open a safe or show him where things were kept. Had he made those demands, it would be incidental to the robbery. Because he did not, he was found guilty of kidnapping for robbery. People v. Leavel – filed February 17, 2012, Fourth District, Div. One 2012 S.O.S. 800

For more information, please contact the Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache, a criminal defense firm in Palm Springs, California.

Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache

A Criminal Defense Firm

PO Box 3297

Palm Springs, CA 92262

Office: (760) 237-8295

Cell: (760) 668-8295

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