When you face carjacking charges, you must treat them seriously. Your life could be significantly affected by the outcome of this legal case. You will not be able to defend criminal carjacking charges without help. The penalties can be severe, resulting in lengthy prison terms. Your best chance of avoiding the consequences of a conviction is to work with a knowledgeable and experienced Upper Marlboro carjacking lawyer.
A well-informed theft attorney could review the prosecution’s evidence and meet with you to develop the most successful strategic defense plan.
What is Carjacking?
According to Maryland Code, Criminal Law, § 3-405, a carjacking occurs when a person tries to steal or take unauthorized control or possession of a car or truck by using violence, force, or threat of violence or force. The alleged carjacker does not need to hit or otherwise physically attack the car’s owner. A defendant could still face criminal charges when they do not touch the car’s owner, but the owner felt a reasonable fear of a threat of violence or force. If the perpetrator uses or displays a dangerous weapon during the carjacking, they could face elevated charges of armed carjacking. Even if the alleged offender only intended to borrow the car temporarily, they could still face charges.
A carjacking conviction, in particular, carries a potential prison sentence of up to 30 years; and if the carjacker is convicted of other crimes committed while stealing the car—such as felony assault and battery charges—they could face additional jail time. It is critical to fight carjacking charges as soon as possible with an aggressive Upper Marlboro attorney who could fight tirelessly for a defendant’s rights.
Possible Defenses to Carjacking Charges
A trusted lawyer in Upper Marlboro is familiar with the laws and knows the best legal strategies for defending carjacking charges.
There is sometimes no physical evidence linking a carjacker to the crime, which means many carjacking cases come down to the believability of the identification. The police do not usually arrest people on carjacking charges when they are in the vehicles they allegedly carjacked. Instead, most carjacking suspects face charges after the person in the car or a witness identifies them. The identification can occur through personal recognition if the victim or a bystander is familiar with the alleged thief. Fighting an identification can be more difficult when a victim personally knows the defendant. However, we could argue the victim had the motive to lie. Most cases of carjackings are with unfamiliar parties, in which the victim or witnesses identify the alleged carjacker through photographs or a criminal lineup.
A seasoned legal representative could cast doubt on the strength of the identification. We could also help a defendant fight the charges by presenting an alibi, showing the defendant was not there.
No One Was in the Vehicle
If no one was in the car during the alleged vehicle theft, there is no crime of carjacking. A defendant could face lesser criminal charges for stealing the car but not carjacking charges.
We could argue that the car’s owner gave the defendant consent to borrow the car.
No Force or Fear
If the defendant took the car without force or instilling fear in anyone else, it is not carjacking. We could review the facts and evidence to develop the most appropriate strategy.
Call an Upper Marlboro Carjacking Attorney
Carjacking is a serious criminal felony. You could face extensive time in jail. In addition, you could encounter social and professional repercussions of a conviction. You need to fight back as soon as possible. Call an Upper Marlboro carjacking lawyer to begin developing the best defense. We could help you set your life straight.