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Are you facing Carjacking charges in Los Angeles?

Pursuant to California Penal Code Section 215, carjacking is a very serious felony, defined as using force or fear to take a car from another person.

The statute states that ‘“carjacking” is 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”.

Carjacking charges are extremely serious, and a conviction may result in substantial time in state prison. If you are facing carjacking charges in Los Angeles, or the surrounding counties, contact experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Miles Booth at 424 272 1134.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Miles Booth

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer

How does the prosecution prove that I am guilty of carjacking?

To be found guilty of carjacking under California Penal Code Section 215 the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you;

  • Took a motor vehicle that was not your own;
  • The vehicle was taken from the immediate presence of someone who possessed the vehicle, or from a passenger;
  • The vehicle was taken agains that other person’s will;
  • You used force or fear to take the vehicle, or prevent the other person from resisting, AND
  • You used force or fear to take the property, or prevent the other person from resisting, AND
  • when you used force or fear, you intended to deprive the other person of the vehicle either temporarily or permanently.

Lets take a closer look at how the court defines these elements;

Taking Someones Property

Taking someones property means moving it some distance, even if it is a very short distance. For example, if you drive the vehicle just 10 feet away and decide to abandon it, you have moved it.

Immediate Presence

Immediate presence means that the other party could keep possession of the vehicle if they were not prevented by force or fear.


Force means using violence. For example, pushing someone to the ground or punching them.


Fear means the threat of violence. For example, pulling a knife on someone or telling them you will punch them if they do not hand over their phone.

Value of the Vehicle

It does not matter how expensive the vehicle is for you to be found guilty of carjacking.

How can I defend myself against a carjacking charge?

Facing Carjacking charges is scary. Your freedom is at stake, and you do not want to fight these charges alone. There are viable defenses that could get your case dismissed. The two most common legal defenses to a carjacking charge are that;

  • You did not use force or fear
  • You were misidentified
  • You were falsely accused

Just because you have been accused of carjacking does not mean that you will be convicted. Call Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Miles Booth to discuss how to best defend your case.

What are the Penalties for a carjacking conviction?

A Carjacking conviction is punishable by;

  • Felony probation, or
  • 3, 5, or years in prison, and/or
  • A fine of up to $10,000

However, if you commit a robbery in an inhabited building, with two or more people, the maximum punishment increases to 9 years in state prison.

What are sentencing enhancements for carjacking in California?

In addition to the penalties discussed above there are a number of sentencing enhancements that can substantially increase the amount of prison time that you face. These include, but are not limited to;

Using a Firearm

California’s “10-20-life” sentencing enhancement under Penal Code 12022.53 lays out very harsh penalties for defendant’s who use a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Specifically, you will face;

  • An additional 10 years in prison if you use a firearm during a carjacking;
  • An additional 20 years in prison if you intentionally fire a gun during a carjacking; and
  • 25 year to life if you cause serious bodily injury, or death using a firearm in a carjacking

Great Bodily Injury

Pursuant to Penal Code 12022.7, California’s great bodily injury enhancement, if you cause serious bodily injury to another party while committing a carjacking you will face an additional 3 to 6 years in state prison. Great bodily injury is defined as substantial or significant injury.

California’s 3 Strikes Law

Carjacking is considered a “violent felony” and a strike offense under California’s “three strikes” law. This means that if you have a carjacking conviction on your record, and are subsequently convicted of any other felony your sentence will be twice the term it would have been otherwise. You will also be required to serve at least 85% of your sentence on the initial carjacking conviction.

California’s Felony Murder Rule

If, while committing a Carjacking, you or one of your accomplice’s kills another person, even on accident, you will be charged with first degree murder. This applies even if the victim slips, falls and dies while getting out of the vehicle.

Contact Los Angeles Criminal defense attorney miles booth

Facing Carjacking charges can be overwhelming and frightening. Charges alone can have far-reaching consequences. Penalties upon conviction are harsh, and you may be facing subsantial prison time. It is foolish to fight these cases alone. It is important to have a skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorney by your side.

As a former prosecutor, Miles Booth understands the complexities of these cases and the blueprints for beating, or substantially mitigating the charges. He has handled thousands of cases throughout Los Angeles County and will aggressively defend you to get the best outcome possible.

To learn more about your options going forward, contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer, Miles Booth, for a free consultation at 424 272 1134.

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