Maryland Carjacking Related Charges
Maryland carjacking related charges are usually associated with theft or other car-associated crimes, such as auto theft or joyriding. Each of these offenses can come with serious penalties. Regardless of the scenario, anyone accused of such crimes should contact an experienced carjacking attorney.
A defense attorney can provide support in several different ways. The attorney will prepare the case for trial, review all of the evidence to look for weaknesses in the State’s case, and build a defense strategy for trial. An experienced defense attorney will discuss with the defendant that it may be in their best interest to negotiate a plea arrangement.
Carjacking vs. Auto Theft
An auto theft, that is not a carjacking, is a factual scenario where a person, possibly in the middle in the night, is able to access a car that is parked in an individual’s driveway. Carjacking is an auto theft with the additional element that the vehicle was taken from the alleged victim’s possession by force, threatening violence, or brandishing a weapon which caused the person to hand over their car.
People still leave their vehicles unlocked and sometimes actually leave the keys in the car. That is a theft scenario where the defendant drives away with the vehicle with the intent to permanently deprive the person of their car. If the facts were different and the person was actually taken out of the car violently or by threats of violence, that elevates it from an auto theft to a carjacking.
Carjacking vs. Joyriding
One major difference between carjacking and joyriding is whether or not either of those was accomplished by violence or a threat of violence. Typically the joyriding scenario is a defendant getting access to somebody else’s car, takes the car out and rides around in it, but it is not their intent to permanently deprive the owner of the car.
More than likely what they intended to do was put the vehicle back where they found it, hopefully without the owner realizing they had the car or will put it in a place where they know it will be found. That is a typical scenario of joyriding. Carjacking, on the other hand, is when the vehicle is taken by force or threatening violence against the possessor of the car. If the defendant did not intend to permanently deprive the possessor of the car, that is not an acceptable defense of carjacking under the law. In order for the crime to be considered a theft, there would have to be the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the car. Therefore, the argument to not permanently take the other person’s care is unacceptable.
It does not matter what the defendant’s intent was in Maryland carjacking related charges. Whether they were going to return it or permanently keep it is irrelevant in their case. If the taking of the car was done forcefully or violently by placing the person in fear, then it is a carjacking regardless of the defendant’s intent.
Hiring an Attorney
The defense attorney is an advocate for the defendant and will have realistic conversations with the defendant to determine if there are issues that need to be addressed. Such as, whether the defendant should submit to inpatient therapy for substance abuse or outpatient therapy, whether the state of someone’s mental health is not the best but no longer attending counseling, whether they should get an overall evaluation. There are several different types of support that the lawyer provides.
Anybody charged with Maryland carjacking related charges should hire an attorney to represent them. If the individual was charged with carjacking, having an attorney is incredibly important because carjacking is a very serious offense. It is a felony which carries a maximum penalty of 30 years. A person can receive a separate and consecutive sentence for the carjacking on top of any other sentences that they could receive for any of the underlying offenses. Anytime somebody is facing prison for a very long time, they should be hiring an attorney to represent them.