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Home / News blog / How a Prosecutor Must Prove a Carjacking Charge in San Diego

How a Prosecutor Must Prove a Carjacking Charge in San Diego

by | Nov 30, 2018 | Carjacking

Carjacking is a felony offense under California Penal Code Section 215.  To be able to prove a charge of carjacking against a defendant, a prosecutor must be able to show that the motor vehicle was taken that was not his or her vehicle, and that it was taken from a person’s possession in their immediate presence through force or fear.  In other words, stealing a car from a driveway or a parking lot when the owner or driver is not present, does not constitute the crime of carjacking.

Possible Defenses Against a Carjacking Charge

Although carjacking is a serious charge, an experienced attorney can use several possible defenses to challenge the guilt of a suspect.

To prove the crime of carjacking, intent must be present.  This means if a person did not intend to take a car through force or fear before or during the alleged crime, then he or she did not commit carjacking.

Consent is also another defense.  In some cases, if you did not take a vehicle against another person’s will, and you had their consent to take it, you cannot be charged with carjacking.

In addition, if you did not use force or fear, you can’t be charged with carjacking either.  This usually requires that a driver or owner is present at the time the car is taken and that they are threatened by some means, perhaps with a weapon in the taking of the vehicle.

An attorney may be able to find inconsistencies with evidence or eyewitness testimony, showing that someone may have been falsely accused.

Avoid Harsh Penalties in San Diego if You Have Been Charged with Carjacking

Carjacking by itself can result in a prison sentence of up to nine years and a $10,000 fine.  But many times, other charges are added on, such as robbery or false imprisonment which can lead to an extremely long stretch in state prison.  Getting highly qualified legal representation is mandatory to give you the best chance at fighting these types of charges.

The Law Office of Marc S. Kohnen is a recognized criminal defense firm that serves clients in San Diego and other nearby California communities such as Chula Vista, Eastlake, National City, Mission Valley, El Cajon, La Mesa, Julian, Ramona, Vista, and San Marcos.  For a free initial consultation, contact his office at (619) 398-2500 or complete this contact form.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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Contact The Law Office of Marc S. Kohnen if you have been arrested and charged with a crime and need a skilled San Diego criminal defense lawyer. The firm represents clients throughout the community, and you can learn about their services by visiting the Areas We Serve page.

Office of Marc S. Kohnen
1350 Columbia Street, #700
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 398-2500

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