In December 2017, just over a month ago, a man was suspected of carjacking a California state lottery vehicle. The man first assaulted a state lottery employee to steal the vehicle and then stole it right out of her hands. When the driver got out of the vehicle on the side of the street, he was shot by police and rushed to the hospital where they pronounced him dead. Sometimes, these accidents can lead to devastating results, as those who steal vehicles are sometimes also on the run from other crimes. Have you been suspected of carjacking in California and now you have questions about your crime?
California Penal Code 215
California Penal Code 215 encompasses the laws that dictate punishments for carjacking in California. This crime is a very serious crime under California law and is charged as a felony. In the event of carjacking, you will be sentenced to probation and prison time for several months or years. However, the crime could carry harsher penalties if you have aggravated elements in your circumstances, such as the following:
- Great bodily injury to the victim, which could be present in a case where somebody is thrown from the vehicle or punched so that the carjacker can take off in the vehicle
- A gun was used in a threatening manner and somebody feared for their life
- The offense happened due to gang relation
Defenses in a Carjacking Case
There are serious consequences to any carjacking crime if you actually intended to deprive somebody from their possessions. These are crimes that usually carry hefty offenses because there are violent elements involved. However, there may be some legal defenses you can use in your case:
- You did not use force or fear, which could lead to a lesser crime
- You had consent from the owner to take the car
- Somebody mistakenly identified you, and it was not actually you who stole the vehicle
If you have been arrested and charged with carjacking, there are many elements that you must think about in your case before you move forward. Because these crimes could send you to prison for several years, you should be prepared for everything. Call us today at the Law Office of Peter Blair for more information.