The Legal Reality Of Carjacking

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Man stealing a carIn the state of California, the laws that cover carjacking are in California Penal Code Section 215 PC. According to the law, a person can be charged with carjacking if they obtained a motor vehicle they do not own or have the authorization to use.

The motor vehicle is quickly taken in the presence of a person who is the owner or authorized to use the vehicle or is a passenger. The motor vehicle is taken against the will of the owner or authorized user of the motor vehicle. The defendant utilized fear or force to obtain the vehicle, and his actions prevented the lawful owner or authorized user from resisting. The defendant had the intent to utilize fear or force to obtain the motor vehicle and deprive the motor vehicle’s owner or authorized user the use of it on a temporary or permanent basis.  If you are charged with this, you’ll want to call a good bondsman to help get you out of jail.

Car Jacking Examples

There are a number of different situations where a person could be charged with carjacking in California. A couple with an expensive car parks at a recreation area. A man follows and confronts the couple. He shows them a weapon. The couple gives him the car keys after the man demands them. In this situation, carjacking was the crime even with the couple not inside the car. A man at a stop sign is approached by another person who gets in the man’s car. The person demands the car be driven to a specific location. This may be considered a carjacking even if the person with the weapon did not drive the motor vehicle.

Penalties

A carjacking conviction in the state of California is a felony-level offense. The punishment for this could be a prison sentence of up to a nine years. A defendant may receive punishment for each person present in the car at the time of the carjacking. Should the victim of a carjacking experience serious bodily harm, a defendant’s sentence could be extended up to six more years in prison. Should the defendant be found guilty of using a gun during the carjacking, they may be sentenced to as much as ten years in prison. If the gun is fired during the carjacking, the sentence could be twenty years in prison. If anyone inside a motor vehicle is killed during a carjacking, a defendant could be sentenced to life in prison. Should the prosecution prove a carjacker was a member of a gang, and the carjacking was done to benefit a gang, the defendant would get an automatic sentence of 15 years to life. If convicted, a person will receive a strike on their record in accordance with California’s three strike law.

Bail Bonds
Should a person be charged with carjacking, they may qualify for bail at a bail hearing. When someone doesn’t have the money to pay the court’s bail amount, they should contact a California bail bonding service. Licensed agents will understand the situation and be able to assist someone who wants to arrange bail. There are bail bond professionals available to assist people 24 hours a day and seven days a week.