Criminal Defense Attorneys Aggressively Defending Individuals Accused Of Carjacking
The theft crime of carjacking in Los Angeles County is covered under California Penal Code Section 215. Basically, it's defined as the taking of a vehicle from another person while in the immediate presence of someone who possessed the vehicle or from the passenger without their consent or against their will.
This taking of the vehicle can be accomplished through threats, force, or fear with the specific intent of depriving the person of the vehicle either temporarily or permanently.
The force or fear element of the crime means that the defendant actually used force on the victim or they threatened to inflict physical harm on the victim. The taking of the vehicle element of the carjacking crime means the defendant actually took possession of the vehicle and moved the vehicle, even if just a short distance. If for some reason the defendant was not able to move the vehicle, they can still be convicted of attempted carjacking.
If you have been accused of carjacking, you need to immediately consult with an experienced Los Angeles carjacking lawyer at our law firm. Our attorneys need to thoroughly review all the specific details of your case in order to determine a solid defense strategy. Do not answer any questions from Los Angeles police detectives. Their job is to build a strong criminal case and make arrest. Don't help them. Exercise your legal right to remain silent.
Carjacking – California Penal Code Section 215
In Los Angeles County, the prosecutor has to prove in court, beyond any reasonable doubt, the following elements of the crime in order to obtain a carjacking conviction:
- The defendant actually took possession of a vehicle that did not belong to them
- The defendant took possession of the vehicle in the immediate presence of another individual or passenger who had possession of the vehicle
- The defendant took possession of the vehicle from another person against their will with threats, force, or fear
- The defendants took possession of the vehicle with the specific intent to either temporarily or permanently deprive them of possession of the car
Legally, the defendant only has to take possession of the car and move it only a slight distance for their conduct to be considered a carjacking offense. See related: Felony Reckless Evading Law in California. California Penal Code 209.5 is the statute defining kidnapping during a carjacking, which is a form of aggravated kidnapping. Speak with a Los Angeles carjacking lawyer about the details of your case.
Legal Penalties for a Carjacking Conviction
In Los Angeles County, carjacking is considered a felony crime. If convicted, a defendant could face up to nine years in a California state prison. A defendant could also face penalties for each victim present in the vehicle when the carjacking occurred.
A defendant could face additional time in prison if the victim suffers bodily harm, or if a weapon was used, or if the offense was committed for the benefit of a gang. A carjacking conviction is a strike under California's three strikes law, which means a defendant would be required to serve at least 85% of their sentence before they would be eligible for a parole release.
Legal Defense against a Carjacking Case
An experienced Los Angeles carjacking defense lawyer could use a variety of legal defenses to raise reasonable doubt to avoid a felony conviction. They include:
- The defendant is a victim of mistaken identity
- The defendant did not use force, fear, or threats to take possession of the vehicle
- The defendant was first given consent to take possession of the vehicle
If the Los Angeles County prosecutor can't prove a defendant used force or fear, then the defendant is not guilty of carjacking, but could be convicted of a less serious theft crime case. In our five decades of practicing criminal defense law in Los Angeles, we have learned that mistaken identity is not uncommon.
A carjacking event is very stressful to any victim. This stress and fright can detract from a victim's ability to correctly identify the suspect. Our experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers may able to prove in court a defendant has been misidentified and wrongly accused.
Get Legal Advice Now from a Los Angeles Carjacking Attorney
Carjacking in Los Angeles County is a serious felony theft crime that can lead to harsh legal consequences. At Eisner Gorin LLP, a Los Angeles carjacking lawyer from our law firm has extensive experience defending individuals against all types of theft crime cases.
In one case in Sylmar juvenile court, our client was charged with carjacking and robbery. Due to their serious prior juvenile record, which included several commitments to a juvenile camp placement, the Los Angeles District Attorneys Office sought to prosecute our 17-year-old client in adult court where he would face a 10 year sentence in a California state prison.
Our Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys were able to convince the prosecutor this was a case of mistaken identity, which resulted in all charges being dismissed against our client.
If you are facing accusations of carjacking, contact our law office now for at 877-7811570 for a free immediate response.