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Court Discusses the Legal Concept of Asportation


On October 23, 1974, a resident of 272 Pennsylvania Avenue , in the County of Kings, stated that he returned home from work at about 12:05 AM. He stated that he parked his car in his parking spot and started to walk towards the side entrance of his building. He stated that as he approached the door, the defendant came out from behind another car and started to follow him. He stated that the defendant threatened him and he began to run. The defendant chased him and put a knife to his throat. He forced the man into the lobby of the building. Once in the lobby, the defendant removed the victim’s ring, watch and money from his wallet. They were in the lobby for about five minutes before the victim’s wife came in. The defendant told the victim that he was going to have to get him out of the situation.

A New York Criminal Lawyer said the defendant then forced the victim and his wife back out to their car by holding the knife to the victim’s chest. He forced them in to the car and drove away with the victim’s wife driving. The defendant told them that he had six or seven children that he could not take care of and that was why he was robbing them. The wife began to cry and he told her to pull over. He started to drive. He did not know how to drive and nearly hit a bus before stopping and taking the keys. He put them outside of the car near a pole and fled on foot. The couple was inside of the car with the assailant for about ten minutes.

The question of law is whether the ten total of 15 minutes being held by the defendant was enough to constitute the crime of kidnapping. There was also some discussion about whether the crime was actually a drug possession crime. New York maintains that if the holding of the person against their will is an integral part of the execution of a greater crime, then the crime of kidnapping is absorbed into the other crime and not charged separately. The question rests on a legal term called asportation. Asportation is the removing a person to another locality.

If the asportation involved is not part of the initial crime, but occurs as a subsidiary incident then the crime of kidnapping is valid. If there is no asportation of the victims and the holding of the person is only subsequent to the act of the robbery, then there is no kidnapping. In the case discussed, the robbery had already occurred at the time that the asportation of the victims was affected. However, a Queens Criminal Lawyer said in the landmark Levy case, it was decided that under the kidnapping statute that the detention or asportation of a victim for a relatively short time as an incident to robbery is not enough to prosecute the defendant for the additional kidnapping. So what is considered to be a short time?

The additional question is if it is affected by the Levy-Lombardi rule that the asportation of the victims from their home to a point down the street was part and parcel to the actual robbery or if it was a separate crime altogether. The justices in this case determined that the Levy-Lombardi rule did not apply because it was in fact a completely separate offense. A Westchester Criminal Lawyer said the robbery had already been accomplished when the defendant opted to remove the victim and his wife to a point down the street and away from their homes.

The court recognized that the intent of the Levy-Lombardi rule was intended to prevent ordinary robberies, rapes, and assaults to the more serious crime of kidnapping simply due to the wording of the stature. Stephen Bilkis & Associates with its Queens Criminal Lawyers, have convenient offices throughout New York and Metropolitan area. Our Queens Drug Lawyers can represent you even in complicated issues such as these.

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