Fairfax Carjacking Penalties

Fairfax carjacking penalties can be severe. A prosecutor must prove four elements for a person to be convicted of a carjacking charge. For more on these elements and other information regarding carjacking, consult with a professional Fairfax theft lawyer. Fairfax carjacking penalties are serious and could alter a person’s life forever. Contact a professional Fairfax theft lawyer immediately who can possibly mitigate charges or create as a strategy to try to achieve the best outcome for you.

Four Elements of Carjacking Charge

The four elements would be seizure of control or possession, proving seizure of a motor vehicle, proving violence, and fourth proving intent. A prosecutor would first have to prove that there was an actual seizure of control or possession. The assailant or the defendant would have to transfer control or possession of the car to them.

Second, there has to be a vehicle involved and the Virginia Code defines that as a motor vehicle. A motor vehicle is a vehicle that is self-propelled or designed for propulsion. It does include motor homes, sleeping places, or mobile offices, but it does not include a bike. The second element is it has to be an actual car and it has to be an actual motor vehicle.

Third, there has to be an element of violence. There has to be violence– force or threat of force – which could be strangulation, suffocation, striking, or beating that puts a person in apprehension of injury or forthcoming injury.

Fourth, there has to be the intent to permanently deprive the owner or the driver of possession or control of the vehicle. This element ties back to the idea of theft in general or the idea of larceny as the basic principle because borrowing a car to run an errand with the intent to take it back to the owner is not going to qualify as carjacking. That defense can be shown by circumstantial evidence, but there has to be a showing of intent.

Consequences of Carjacking Charges

A conviction of carjacking would result in a felony. The penalty is at least 15 years in prison and the possibility of life in prison. A person would also have to forfeit their civil rights in terms of voting and carrying a weapon in the future. There will be a fine to pay with restitution to pay to the family or to the person that was injured. There could be some civil liability arising from that as well depending on whether or not a person was actually hurt in the process. A person should take Fairfax carjacking penalties seriously.

Prior Convictions

Whenever there is a prior conviction, there is the possibility that it can be admitted as evidence to impeach the credibility of the defendant. Imagine a scenario where the defendant would like to take the stand to testify on their behalf. That prior conviction can come in as evidence from the prosecution to impeach the credibility of the witness who is the defendant. That limits the possibility of the defendant testifying at that time. A lawyer would tweak the defense strategy to try to avoid having to testify. A lot of times the defendant is the only one that was there other than the driver of the vehicle and it is important to hear their side of the testimony. It is not a good position to be in since it would limit the ability of the defense attorney and the defendant to speak on their behalf and to testify.

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