Carjacking (Penal Code § 215)
Carjacking is the taking of a vehicle from another person’s immediate possession through the use of force or fear. Carjacking is essentially robbery where the object taken is a motor vehicle.
Like robbery, carjacking is classified as a “violent felony” and qualifies as a “strike” under California’s Three Strikes Law. Carjacking also carries a punishment of up to nine years in state prison depending on the facts of the case.
If you or someone you care about is facing a carjacking charge or any other theft charge, the criminal defense attorneys at the Weinrieb Law Firm can help explain the charges and properly defend against them. We can be reached twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week at (818) 933-6555.
Elements Of Carjacking
The prosecution must prove the following to convict a defendant of carjacking:
- Defendant took a motor vehicle that did not belong to him
- Defendant took the vehicle from the immediate presence of someone who “possessed” the vehicle or a passenger of the vehicle
- The vehicle was taken against the person’s will and without consent
- Defendant used force, fear or both to take the vehicle
- Defendant’s intent to take the vehicle existed when he used force or fear to take it.
Punishment For Carjacking
Carjacking carries a punishment of up to three, six or nine years in state prison, and qualifies as a “strike” under California’s Three Strikes Law.
Defenses To A Carjacking Charge
Potential defenses to a charge of carjacking will depend on the facts of the case, but may include:
- Insufficient use of force or fear by the defendant
- Lack of intent (the defendant used force or fear, but only afterwardsformed the intent to take the vehicle)