Carjacking is a serious crime involving the theft of a vehicle through force, threat, or violence against the driver or occupants. It is a complex and serious offense, and the consequences of a conviction can be life-altering. If you have been accused of carjacking, it is crucial to have a skilled criminal defense attorney by your side.
Criminal Defense Attorney Brian Gabriel has over 30 years of experience defending Floridians accused of various types of offenses, including carjacking. Mr. Gabriel provides aggressive representation to protect the rights of his clients and will handle your case using all the knowledge and skill developed over the span of his triple-decade career.
What Constitutes Carjacking in Florida?
In Florida, carjacking is prohibited under Florida Statute 812.133. The law refers to the act of forcibly taking possession of a motor vehicle from its driver by using threats, violence, or intimidation. It is a serious criminal offense that involves the theft of a vehicle directly from its occupant. Unlike traditional auto theft, carjacking involves the element of personal interaction and potential harm to the driver or occupants.
Carjacking is a violent theft crime and a type of robbery specific to motor vehicles. Force, assault, violence, or the threat of violence may be used to gain possession of the victim’s motor vehicle, all the while placing the victim in fear for their safety.
The intention behind carjacking is primarily to steal the vehicle, but it can also involve additional criminal acts, such as robbery, assault, or kidnapping. Carjacking incidents can leave victims traumatized and vulnerable, as the sudden and violent nature of the crime can result in physical injuries, emotional distress, and property loss. Law enforcement agencies take carjacking cases seriously due to their potential for violence and the threat they pose to public safety.
Possible Penalties for Carjacking in the Sunshine State
Because carjacking is a crime that strikes at the core of personal safety and security, prosecutors are unyielding in their pursuit of justice, often seeking severe penalties upon conviction. In these critical moments, having a strong carjacking attorney by your side can make all the difference.
The legal consequences for carjacking vary depending on the jurisdiction, but they typically involve severe penalties, including lengthy prison sentences, fines, and a permanent criminal record.
In Florida, the crime is considered a first-degree felony offense whether or not a deadly weapon or firearm was used to facilitate the carjacking. If a weapon was used, punishment can exceed the maximum 30-year prison sentence reserved for the most basic of first-degree felony crimes. It is possible to receive a sentence of life in prison if convicted of armed carjacking. If the victim was killed as the result of a carjacking, the defendant may even face the death penalty.
In addition to criminal carjacking charges, some offenders may face kidnapping charges if there were children in the vehicle at the time the crime occurred. Kidnapping is also considered a violent crime and a first-degree felony offense. Penalties may include a prison sentence of up to 30 years or 30 years of probation and fines of up to $10,000.
Effective Carjacking Defense Strategies in Florida
Carjacking Attorney Brian Gabriel meticulously analyzes evidence, questions witnesses, and explores all available defense strategies to build compelling defenses on behalf of his clients. Some common defense strategies he may employ in a carjacking case include the following:
- Lack of intent: In some cases, individuals accused of carjacking may have been present in the vehicle without any intent to commit the crime. Investigating the circumstances to challenge the prosecution’s claims of intent is necessary.
- Mistaken identity: Eyewitness identification is not always reliable, and mistaken identity can play a significant role in carjacking cases. Examining all aspects of identification procedures and challenging any inconsistencies or inaccuracies should be determined.
- Coercion or duress: In certain situations, individuals may have been forced or coerced into participating in a carjacking against their will. Exploring the possibilities of coercion or duress and presenting a strong defense based on the circumstances surrounding the defendants involvement should be determined.
- Unlawful search and seizure: If law enforcement officers obtained evidence through an illegal search or seizure, a defense would be to fight to have that evidence suppressed, as it may be in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights.
- Self-defense: If you used force during a carjacking incident to protect yourself or others from imminent harm, asserting this claim of self-defense would be applicable.
Mr. Gabriel is a skilled negotiator and litigator who is not afraid to fight for your rights in the courtroom. He will advocate on your behalf, aiming to achieve a favorable outcome, whether through negotiation, dismissal of charges, or acquittal at trial.
Dispute Carjacking Charges with Tough Criminal Defense
Carjacking charges are extremely serious and require the immediate attention of a knowledgeable and experienced carjacking attorney in West Palm Beach. If you are facing carjacking charges, it is in your best interests to align yourself with a strong criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Carjacking in Florida is a serious felony offense for which you could face the harshest penalties the state can impose without a strong defense. Speak with a knowledgeable and dedicated carjacking attorney right away to discuss your criminal carjacking charges. Criminal Defense Attorney Brian Gabriel has defended violent crimes in Palm Beach County and surrounding areas for over 30 years.