Carjacking is the criminal taking of a motor vehicle from the person or custody of another through the use of force, violence, assault, or fear. To prove the criminal offense of Carjacking, the State Attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the criminal suspect took the motor vehicle from the person or custody of the victim through use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear in the course of the taking, and that the taking was with the criminal intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the victim of his or her right to the motor vehicle or any benefit from it, or to appropriate the motor vehicle of the victim to the criminal suspect’s own use or to the use of any person not entitled to it. “In the course of the taking” means that the act occurred before, during, or after the taking of the motor vehicle and that the act and the taking of the motor vehicle constitute a continuous series of acts or events.
In order for a taking of property to be Carjacking, it is not necessary that the victim be the actual owner of the property. It is sufficient if the victim has the custody of the property at the time of the offense. The taking must be by the use of force or violence or by assault so as to overcome the resistance of the victim, or by putting the victim in fear so that the victim does not resist. The law does not require that the victim of Carjacking resist to any particular extent or that the victim offer any actual physical resistance if the circumstances are such that the victim is placed in fear of death or great bodily harm if he or she does resist. If the victim is not in fear, then there must be some resistance to make the taking one done by force or violence. It is also Carjacking if a person, with criminal intent to take the property from a victim, administers any substance to the victim so that the victim becomes unconscious and then takes the property from the person or custody of the victim.
The punishment provided by law for the criminal violation of Carjacking is greater if “in the course of committing the carjacking” the criminal suspect carried some kind of weapon. An act is “in the course of committing the carjacking” if it occurs in an attempt to commit Carjacking or in flight after the attempt or commission. Therefore, if the jury finds the criminal suspect guilty of Carjacking, then the jury must consider whether the State Attorney has further proved those aggravating circumstances beyond a reasonable doubt, and if so, this must be reflected this in the jury’s verdict for the criminal suspect. If the jury finds that the criminal suspect carried a firearm or other deadly weapon in the course of committing the criminal offense of Carjacking, then the jury should find the criminal suspect guilty of the criminal offense of Carjacking with a firearm or deadly weapon. If the jury finds that the criminal suspect carried no firearm or weapon in the course of committing the criminal offense of Carjacking, but did commit the Carjacking, then the jury should find the criminal suspect guilty only of Carjacking. A weapon is a deadly if it is used criminally or threatened to be used criminally in a way likely to produce death or great bodily harm.
Carjacking is a serious criminal offense that demands the representation of a competent experienced Fort Lauderdale Carjacking Defense Attorney, one who will fight hard while representing you in criminal court against the State’s Attorney. Criminal Defense Attorney Kenneth P. Hassett is experienced and familiar with this criminal offense and has been in practice in Miami Dade County, Fort Lauderdale, and Broward County since 1991. If you have been charged with the crime of Carjacking or any other criminal offense in Miami Dade County, Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, or any other part of Florida, call Hassett and Associates, P.A. 24 hours per day seven days per week for a free consultation.
The information on this page does not represent legal advice. Florida Statues obtained from Online Sunshine, www.leg.state.fl.us, the official site of the Florida Legislature. Because the law is continually changing, some of the provisions contained herein may be out of date. It is always wise to seek counsel from an experienced criminal attorney like Kenneth Hassett.
If you have been charged as an Accessory After the Fact or a Principal in the First Degree to a criminal offense in Broward or Miami-Dade County, call Criminal Defense Attorney Kenneth P. Hassett.