When a person takes a motor vehicle from the owner or someone who has legal custody of it by using fear, assault, violence or some type of force, this is known as Carjacking. In the state of Florida, Carjacking is considered a first-degree felony as described in Fla. Stat. Ann. §812.52. In order to get a conviction, a Florida State Attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a suspect took the vehicle using methods associated with Carjacking.
It also has to be shown that a suspect obtained the vehicle with the criminal intent to deprive the victim of their right to use the vehicle or benefit from it. This intent can be shown by having the Carjacked vehicle on a temporary or permanent basis. It must also be proven the suspect was motivated by their own desire to use the vehicle or provide it for another individual who is not entitled to use it.
It is not necessary for a victim to own a vehicle for the taking of it to be classified as Carjacking. If a victim had legal custody of the vehicle at the time of the incident, that ‘s sufficient under the law. With Carjacking, the taking of a vehicle is done in a way to overcome any resistance by the victim. The law does not require a victim to resist. Should the victim not have any fear of the suspect, they must offer some resistance. A suspect is also guilty of Carjacking if they administer a substance to the victim, so the victim is unconscious before the suspect takes the vehicle.
The punishment for Carjacking increases if a suspect is convicted of using some type of weapon during the incident. An increase in punishment will happen if a suspect had a weapon after leaving, during the attempted Carjacking or in flight. If a jury believes a suspect is guilty, they may also be asked to determine if a weapon was used.
In the state of Florida, Carjacking is classified as a First Degree Felony. Under Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code, it is a Level 7 offense. There is a minimum prison sentence for anyone convicted of Carjacking. They must spend at least 21 months in prison. A judge can also award a person up to thirty years in prison, thirty years of probation as well as $10,000 in fines.
If a person is arrested for Carjacking, it is important their legal rights be protected. They should contact Criminal Lawyer Jonathan Jay Kirschner. He can be reached at any time during the day or night at 772-489-8501