Maryland Carjacking Lawyer
Carjacking is limited to the robbery of a motor vehicle. It has all the same elements as a robbery, but specifically, the property being taken is another person’s car. The State would have to prove that “the taking and carrying away” of another person’s motor vehicle while that person actually possesses the car, and that taking was done by force or violence, or putting somebody in fear that they were going to be hurt.
It is a very fact specific crime and more likely than not, if somebody takes another person’s car, it is a robbery. If they do it while the victim is in possession or control of the car, then it is elevated to a carjacking. In order to fight these charges, you will need the assistance of a competent theft attorney on your side. If you have been charged with carjacking, contact a qualified Maryland carjacking lawyer to defend you.
What a Prosecutor Must Prove
The prosecutor has to prove each and every element of the crime. The prosecutor is going to take their queue from the Statute and see what the elements are that have to be proven for carjacking. That is the exact same thing a good Maryland carjacking attorney is going to do, i.e., look at the Statute, see what each of the elements are, and then determine if there is one element that is not provable or missing. For example, can the prosecution prove that the victim was actually in possession or control of the motor vehicle; if not, where were they.
Depending on where the victim was located at the time the car was taken, could be the difference between a theft versus a carjacking. The prosecutor is going to have to prove that the victim had possession or control of the motor vehicle and that the defendant took unauthorized control of that car by force or violence, or by threatening and intimidating the victim to believe that they would be hurt if they did not hand the car over.
Separate Charges Included in Carjacking
There could be an additional charge if there is a weapon involved. Then, there are going to be additional crimes depending on the weapon. For example, it could be the use of a handgun in the commission of the crime of violence or a felony; it could also include a First Degree Assault charge or the Second Degree Assault charge. It can easily include another three or four offenses and, depending on the factual scenario, could include an additional six or seven offenses.
The most typical one is a situation where the person is driving the car or is seated in the car and the defendant removes that person from the car. They do so either by force, literally physically pulls the person out of the car, or by brandishing a weapon. They could use a firearm and tell the person to get out of the driver’s seat. Those are typical standard scenarios that take place in people’s driveways or parking lots, or even at a stop sign or a red light. All these situations depict a person being forcibly removed from their car or threatened with harm if they do not get out of the car which is the equivalent of a carjacking.
Building a Defense
A Maryland carjacking lawyer will determine if there is any part of the State’s case that is weak; if there is a part where they do not have the evidence necessary; and they want to consider all possible defenses. For example, does the defendant have an alibi? Were they in a totality different place at the time that this crime took place? Was it a case of mistaken identity? All the defense strategies are on the table.
Benefits of Hiring an Attorney
If a person is charged, they should definitely consider hiring a Maryland carjacking attorney because it is a very serious offense. It is a crime of violence, which means the person is going to serve at least 50% of the sentence if they are convicted. It is a felony that will stay on their record for the rest of their life. In a situation like that, if they are convicted, they can count on the judge giving them a prison sentence. An adept lawyer can take a comprehensive approach to your case, and will try to build a solid defense.