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Home » Theft Attorney » Carjacking Lawyer

California Carjacking Attorney – Penal Code 215 PC

Are You Looking For A Carjacking Attorney?

Being accused of carjacking PC 215 is a major cause for concern given the extreme consequences of a conviction. If you or a loved one have been charged with carjacking in California, contact a carjacking defense attorney right away. Your future and freedom may rely on it. The theft attorneys at My Rights Law are some of the top criminal defense lawyers in California and have a record of success to show for it. To discuss your case, contact our law offices for a free consultation at (888) 702-8882 or complete our secure web form.

How Is Carjacking PC 215 Defined In California?

California Penal Code 215 PC describes the crime of carjacking as stealing a car or other vehicle from the immediate presence of another person using force or fear.[1]

Carjacking is similar to robbery, but it is a more specific crime because it must involve a motor vehicle. Stealing a car outside of the physical possession of another person is grand theft (grand larceny).

What Are The Elements Of PC 215 Carjacking In California?

In California, the elements of carjacking are:

  • Theft occurred (that is, the taking something of that belongs to someone else).
  • A motor vehicle (such as a car or truck) was stolen.
  • That motor vehicle is in the physical possession or immediate presence of another person (the victim)
    • The victim may be the driver, a passenger, or even someone who is not in the car but is near it.
  • The taking is against the victim’s will.
  • You use force or fear to take the vehicle.
  • You intend to deprive the victim of their vehicle (either permanently or temporarily).

What Are The Penalties For PC 215 Carjacking In California?

In California, carjacking is a felony. You may face up to nine years in prison if you are convicted of carjacking. A conviction for carjacking counts as a strike under California’s three strikes law.

You could also face separate penalties for each victim present in the vehicle when the carjacking occurred.

You could face additional time in prison if the victim suffers bodily injury, if a weapon was used, or if the crime was committed for the benefit of a gang. [2]

Legal Defenses Against PC 215 Charges Of Carjacking

A California carjacking defense lawyer from My Rights Law could use a variety of legal defenses to raise reasonable doubt and avoid a felony conviction. The defenses to a carjacking claim include:

  • Consent – if you had permission to use the car, you cannot have committed carjacking. If you were given permission to use a car and then kept it beyond the time you were given permission, you may have committed theft but not carjacking.
  • No force used – if you did not use force or fear, one of the elements of the crime has not been fulfilled, and you have not committed a carjacking. If you took a car without permission and without force, you might be guilty of a different, lesser crime.
  • Misidentification – a carjacking may have taken place, but you were not the one behind it. Perhaps you resemble the actual criminal, or perhaps someone set you up.
  • False Accusations—someone may have falsely accused you of carjacking.

Our carjacking defense attorneys at My Rights Law know that witnesses can be grossly unreliable. Someone’s anxiety and fright following a carjacking event can detract from their capacity to identify the suspect correctly. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys may prove in court that a defendant has been misidentified and wrongly accused.

California Carjacking Lawyers

To fight carjacking allegations, you may need the help of a criminal defense attorney because the offense is classified as a felony. Under California Penal Code PC 215 PC, carjacking is more than theft of a vehicle, as it also includes removing (or threatening to remove) another person from the vehicle. Some examples of penalties imposed for carjacking in Los Angeles County are criminal fines, jail time, losing your right to vote and losing your right to own a firearm. As such, it is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney.

To qualify as a federal offense, the carjacking charges generally involve a vehicle that was transported, shipped, or crossed over state/foreign lines. Given that most vehicles are made out of state, and many are purchased out of state due to lower pricing or tax reasons, a car can easily turn a state criminal carjacking crime into a federal charge, leading to a bid in California state prison. These potential consequences make the assistance of a California carjacking defense lawyer even more critical.

California Carjacking Defense Attorneys At My Rights Law

My Rights Law represents individuals accused of carjacking in violation of California Penal Code Section 215. If you have been charged with carjacking, you are facing serious consequences, so you need a powerful defense. Call us at (888) 702-8882 or leave us a message on our secure web form or to consider hiring an attorney from My Rights Law today to start the process of putting your legal issues to bed.

Other theft crimes we defend include: Burglary, Receiving Stolen Property

[1] California Jury Instructions, CALCRIM 1650.
[2] Penal Code 186.22 PC.

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