Los Angeles Carjacking Attorneys
WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOU HAVE A CARJACKING CASE FILED AGAINST YOU OR A LOVED ONE IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY?
Carjacking is treated seriously in all of the Los Angeles courthouses. It is very close to a robbery case, in that you are accused of taking someone’s car away from them against their will by force or fear. This crime is considered a strike and the police, prosecutors and judges will usually try and send a person to prison for this type of behavior. Many times I defend a carjacking case and see that the prosecutor should not have charged the person with this crime, because the conduct does not rise to this level. In my opinion, it is important that your attorney is familiar with handling these type of cases in the court your case is pending in order to know what is fair and what is not.
As far as a strategy to defend and resolve a carjacking case, it of course depends on whether you are guilty of the crime, not guilty of the crime but guilty of a lessor crime or if you are not guilty of anything. If you are not guilty of anything, then the case will likely go to trial and depending on what evidence the prosecutors have against you, that will dictate what the defense will be and how your attorney will defend you. If, you are guilty of the crime or guilty of a lessor or different crime, then it will be up to your attorney to negotiate on your behalf and show the judge and prosecutor the positive things about your live. This can be done by way of obtaining character letters from family, friends, your job and people who know the good person you are. Your attorney will definitely be in the best position to advise you on what will make a difference to the prosecutors and what they will look past. The circumstances of the offense are another thing that will be considered. The more dangerous your conduct was, the more likely you will receive a harsh punishment. If on the other hand, your conduct was not that dangerous then that will be taken into account when deciding your fate. Having a seasoned savvy attorney is of utmost importance in achieving the best result. Not all attorneys are created equally and the better the attorney, the better you will fair in a criminal court!
What is Carjacking
Carjacking is found when the government can prove that a person removed another of their vehicle through the use of force or fear. This is often seen as someone hailing down another vehicle, and using a threat or a weapon to remove the driver from the vehicle, and then using the vehicle for their own purposes. This offense is sometimes “over-charged”, meaning that the government tends to apply this charge to circumstances where it truly does not apply. Whats crucial to this offense is the application of force and/or fear to deprive another of their vehicle. If no threats are made, or no force applied, then this charge is simply not viable.
LEARN IF SOMEONE CAN BE CHARGED WITH CARJACKING IF THEY DO NOT ACTUALLY TAKE THE CAR AWAY FROM THE PERSON?
Believe it or not I have seen many people charged with carjacking in Los Angeles courts where they never actually take a car away from another person. There are scenarios where someone will make another person drive their own car during the escape from a crime and the carjacker never actually gets behind the wheel. The key thing to evaluate, when deciding if a case is a carjacking, is to determine whether the defendant either permanently or temporarily took control of another person’s car by the use of force or fear. If they did, then it is a carjacking.
Carjacking is very similar to robbery. Usually the only difference between the two is that carjacking involves taking someone’s vehicle by way of force or fear, while robbery involves taking someone’s property by force or fear. Using a gun in either scenario will subject the person to additional prison time. In fact, the use of any weapon during the course of a robbery or carjacking will put the person is a position to spend a significant about of time in prison. There is a ten year gun enhancement that can be filed with these type of cases which will cause a person convicted of the subject crime serve ten years in prison at eighty five percent on top of whatever they receive for the underlying offense.
CAN SOMEONE BE CHARGED WITH CARJACKING WHO ONLY WISHES TO TEMPORARILY TAKE A CAR, VERSUS PERMANENTLY TAKE THE CAR?
The Penal Code Section related to carjacking says that a person who takes another’s car must intend to permanently deprive them of the car. However, there is case law which is controlling, that says that even if a person attempts to temporarily deprive a person of their car, they can be successfully prosecuted for carjacking. An example of this would be if a person jumps in the passenger seat of another person’s car with a gun and tells them to drive in order for them to get away from another crime they committed. Once the person is safe, he or she jumps out of the car and runs away. Under these circumstances, this would be a carjacking and the person could be successfully prosecuted even though they never intended to permanently deprive the other person of their car.
One thing that I have noticed over the course of the past twenty five years of practicing criminal defense in Los Angeles is that anytime there is a serious case and the prosecutors can figure out a way to try and twist the meaning of the Penal Code to support their argument, you can bet your bottom dollar that they will and that the judge on the case will do everything he or she can to help them. In my opinion, the only way to combat this is to have a seasoned criminal defense attorney by your side every step of the way.