The crime of carjacking in the Penal Code is extremely serious.
Penal Code Section 215 defines carjacking as….
"..the felonious taking of a motor vehicle in the possession of another, from his or her person or immediate presence, or from the person or immediate presence of a passenger of the motor vehicle, against his or her will and with the intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person in possession of the motor vehicle of his or her possession, accomplished by means of force or fear."
Force as defined in this statute refers to the actual amount of physical force used to accomplish the taking. Some common examples include the taking of a vehicle with a weapon, such as a gun, knife, pepper spray, or bat. However, a weapon is not required to satisfy the force element of the crime of carjacking. A person can use his hands to apply the requisite force in the form of grabbing, punching, shoving or restraining the victim in order to accomplish the taking of the vehicle. A victim may also be pushed out of the vehicle, prior to it being driven away. All of these methods, in addition to numerous others, are sufficient to satisfy the element of force for the crime of carjacking.
In addition to force, the crime of carjacking may be accomplished by instilling fear in the victim through the use of threats to the person, property, or family of the victim. In this situation, no actual physical force is needed prior to the taking of the vehicle. Rather, a suspect may instill fear into the victim by making threats to harm the person, anyone else within the vehicle, the person’s family or property, etc… If this threat of harm or instilling of fear assists the individual in the taking of the vehicle, the elements of the crime of carjacking have been established.
Under California’s Three Strikes Law, the crime of carjacking pursuant to Penal Code section 215 is a strike offense. This means that it is considered a serious and violent crime in the state of California and carries with it a potential enhanced sentence. If a person suffers a conviction for carjacking, and is charged with any crime in the future, the carjacking conviction will likely be charged in the criminal complaint and may potentially double any sentence the person may ultimately suffer. Once a person has a strike conviction on his record, that conviction will always remain a strike even if the charge is later reduced or expunged. A strike conviction will stay on the person’s record for life.
Moreover, a carjacking conviction will be considered one strike under California’s Three Strikes Law, and can ultimately lead to a person spending 25 years to life in state prison if he or she suffers additional serious convictions.
Therefore, if you or a loved one has been charged in the San Diego, Temecula, Murrieta, Riverside, San Bernardino or Orange County areas with the crime of carjacking, contact The Law Offfices of Parwana Anwar, PLC immediately at 951-698-1250 for your free and confidential consultation. Carjacking is too serious a charge to face the system alone!