On Friday April 12, a 30-year-old San Jose woman was arrested in connection with a March incident involving car theft and the kidnapping of an infant. Karla Hernandez allegedly stole a Jeep Liberty parked in a San Jose resident’s driveway; an infant was in the back seat.
Hernandez was arrested on suspicion of auto theft, kidnapping, child endangerment, being under the influence of drugs, and drug possession.
The woman who owned the 2006 Jeep, Graciela Quintero, had started up the vehicle so that it could be warming after placing her 11-month-old daughter in the back seat. She walked away from the Jeep briefly to close the garage door; when she came back her vehicle was being driven away with her child still inside, according to San Jose police. Another news source stated that Quintero had gone back inside the home to retrieve some items. The incident took place in East San Jose at a residence in the 2300 block of Amador Court at approximately 6:30 a.m.
According to a news article at SFGate.com, the vehicle was located about 6 miles south of the Quintero’s home on Amargosa Court between 11 and 11:30 a.m. The Jeep had been abandoned, but the baby was inside the vehicle and was unharmed. It is not clear if Hernandez realized there was a baby in the vehicle when she stole it.
Investigators located Hernandez with the assistance of a police sketch, physical evidence, and witness accounts. According to the local ABC affiliate, and AMBER Alert was triggered by the ordeal. On Monday evening, Quintero thanked the community for their efforts and help in finding her little girl.
While news reports do not indicate that Hernandez has been charged with the crimes she was arrested for, San Jose kidnapping attorneys realize that if charged and convicted, she will face serious penalties that will impact her reputation, freedom, and future. The punishment for kidnapping charges alone are five, eight, or 11 years in prison depending on the circumstances. If an individual commits kidnapping in the commission of a carjacking offense, he or she may be sentenced to life behind bars.
Regardless of whether you have been accused of auto theft, kidnapping, a drug offense, or something as serious as rape or murder, it is imperative that you discuss your situation with a trusted San Jose criminal defense lawyer right away. Skilled legal guidance and representation can mean the difference between your freedom, and spending time in jail/prison.