Criminal Defense LawyersMy family and I could not be more grateful
for everything you did for me... - T.S.
Under Florida law kidnapping is often confused with the more common offense of interference with custody. In most scenarios when a minor is taken or kept away from his or her parent or legal guardian the act does not rise to the level of kidnapping, but rather interference with custody. Interference with custody only applies to minors or incompetent individuals, and typically involves domestic disputes. It is also an offense than can have multiple co-defendants, as numerous individuals can be involved in aiding or abetting the act. If you have been charged or are being investigated for interference with custody of a minor it is extremely important to contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately before going to court and before talking to law enforcement. There are a variety of different defenses that may be available to you, and making a statement to the police without a lawyer present could limit your ability to argue these defenses in court. Benjamin Herbst is a South Florida criminal defense lawyer who specializes in defending charges for interference with custody. He has successfully defended clients for custody cases involving interstate takings, and understands the complex nature of these charges. Benjamin represents clients in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County, and also is an experienced Treasure Coast criminal defense lawyer for anyone facing charges in Martin or St. Lucie County. If you have a charge anywhere in Florida for interference with custody contact Benjamin at (954) 543-0305. In addition to his flexible office hours at his Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach offices, Benjamin also routinely travels to meet his clients at convenient locations.
In order to sustain a conviction for interference with custody the state must prove that the defendant knowingly or recklessly took a minor or incompetent person from his or her parent, guardian or public agency without lawful authority. It is also a violation for a person with custody rights to keep the minor away from another person with custody rights, so mothers and fathers can be subject to this charge. Anyone involved in the taking can be charged as if they took the minor themselves, which includes stepparents, grandparents or other relatives who may have helped conceal the whereabouts of the minor. There is no time limit on how long the minor or incompetent individual may be kept, so charges could be filed based on a matter of days or even hours of custody depravation. Benjamin Herbst represents any defendant that is charged with interference with custody in Florida, including parents, grandparents and other relatives. He fights for a dismissal of charges the minute he is hired, and continues to fight until the best possible resolution is reached.
There are a variety of defenses to interference with custody charges, which makes it even more important to retain an experienced lawyer who is familiar with all valid legal arguments. A defendant who believes his or her actions were necessary to protect the minor or incompetent person from danger may be justified in taking the minor. Under this scenario the defendant must have contacted law enforcement within 10 days of the taking. Other defenses include establishing that the defendant was a victim of domestic violence and took the minor from another person with lawful custody to protect the both parties from further domestic abuse. Finally, it may be a defense that the minor or incompetent person instigated the taking, and the defendant relied on this without the intent to commit a crime. Interference with custody cases are often highly emotional and the only evidence could be statements of testifying witnesses. Benjamin Herbst is a skilled and experienced South Florida criminal defense lawyer who knows how to hold a witness’ feet to the fire. He does not back down from a jury trial if the state is being unreasonable, and he will not stop fighting until his client is completely satisfied. Contact Benjamin today for a free consultation about your charges, and to learn what defenses may be available to you.