Carjacking is defined in Florida as taking a car or motor vehicle from another person by force, violence, assault or putting the person in fear. This is different from Grand Theft of a Motor Vehicle because it includes an added element that the vehicle is taken away from another person, not merely stolen when unoccupied. Because of this, the penalties for Carjacking are drastically more severe from simple Grand Theft of a Motor Vehicle, which is a Third Degree Felony.
Generally, Carjacking is a First Degree Felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison. If a deadly weapon or a firearm is used in the commission of the crime, this increases the possible penalties and may institute a minimum mandatory sentence under Florida’s 10/20/Life statute (See Firearms Offenses). For instance, Carjacking with a Deadly Weapon and Carjacking with a Firearm are punishable by Life in prison. If a firearm is alleged to have been used, a minimum sentence of 10 years to Life in prison may apply, depending on whether the gun was fired or a person was injured with the firearm.
Searching for a lawyer for a criminal case in West Palm Beach? Based upon the severe nature of the charges and the severe penalties that may be imposed, it is vitally important that anyone charged with carjacking seek the assistance of a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to begin preparing a defense. Facing criminal charges? You need the top criminal defense lawyer in West Palm Beach. Contact my firm today for help in your case!