Carjacking is basically a robbery or theft charge: stealing a car while someone else is using it or has active possession. Generally, it’s a case of forcing someone out of the driver’s seat and taking the wheel yourself. The other person doesn’t have to be the owner – or even in the vehicle. For instance, someone maybe pumping gas or standing beside a car they were driving; if you get in the car and drive off, it’s carjacking.
The difference between carjacking and Grand Theft Auto or joyriding is the use of violence or intimidation against someone to take the vehicle. The state automatically increases penalties for crimes that involve violence.
It’s very important to get with a lawyer as soon as possible when facing such serious charges. Call 407-644-2466 to speak with a skilled and aggressive attorney at the Rivas Law Firm.
Is Carjacking a Misdemeanor or Felony?
According to Florida Carjacking Statute (812.133), carjacking is “the taking of a motor vehicle which may be the subject of larceny from the person or custody of another, with intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person or the owner of the motor vehicle, when in the course of the taking there is the use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear.”
It a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison, 30 years probation, and a fine up to $10,000. And the law comes down even harder when a weapon is involved. Defendants convicted of carjacking face a mandatory minimum of 21 months in prison. In addition, Florida’s 10/20/Life Firearm Enhancement law mandates minimum prison sentences for a carjacking involving a weapon:
• A minimum 10-year prison term if in possession of a firearm;
• A minimum 20-year prison term if the firearm was discharged; and
• A minimum 25-year prison term if someone is injured or killed by the firearm.
Depending on the circumstances, carjacking defendants may also face other charges such as assault or kidnapping.
Florida Carjacking Defense
An aggressive and experienced criminal defense attorney will start fighting carjacking charges in Florida with a thorough pre-file or pre-trial investigation. That’s why it’s important to get in touch with a good defense lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer will evaluate every element of the case against you to make sure that the police and prosecutors have followed the law. A good lawyer can challenge evidence collection, witness statements, crime lab results and police procedures.
If the case is still in the investigation stage, you lawyer may be able to demonstrate that the prosecution has a weak case and stop them from filing charges. If you have been charged, your lawyer will fight to exclude evidence an make pre-trial motions with the goal of getting the case dismissed altogether.
If you are facing these serious charges, you’ll want the best carjacking defense lawyer available. Consider the skilled and aggressive Orlando Carjacking Defense Attorneys at the Rivas Law Firm. Call 407-644-2466 to speak with an attorney and begin a vigorous defense so you can deal with your legal challenges and get on with your life.