Modesto Carjacking Attorney
Experienced Defense Against Carjacking Charges in California
Carjacking is considered a serious offense that can lead to harsh penalties if convicted. If you are facing charges for this offense, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At Forkner Orlando & Echevarria, our Modesto carjacking lawyers are here to help. We have the experience and resources needed to protect your rights and fight for your freedom.
Call Forkner Orlando & Echevarria today at (209) 753-4009 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our carjacking lawyer in Modesto.
What is Carjacking?
Carjacking is a criminal offense that involves the unlawful taking of someone else's vehicle through the use of force, fear, or intimidation. This crime is defined under California Penal Code Section 215, and it carries severe penalties upon conviction. Carjacking typically occurs when an individual uses violence, threats, or weapons to steal a vehicle from its owner or driver. The key elements of carjacking include:
- Taking possession of someone else's vehicle.
- Against their will.
- Through the use of force or fear.
It's important to note that even the mere implication of a weapon or a threat of harm can lead to carjacking charges. Factors such as the presence of a weapon, injuries sustained during the incident, and the criminal history of the accused will determine the severity of the charges.
What Are the Penalties for Carjacking in California?
In California, carjacking is considered a felony offense. The exact consequences will depend on the specific circumstances of the case, but some common penalties associated with carjacking include:
- Imprisonment: Carjacking convictions often result in significant prison sentences, ranging from three to nine years for a standard carjacking charge. If the crime involved a firearm, the sentence may increase to up to 15 years to life in prison.
- Fines: Convicted individuals may also face substantial fines, reaching up to $10,000 or more.
- Restitution: If victims suffered harm or property damage during the carjacking, the court may order the defendant to pay restitution to cover the victims' losses.
- Felony Record: A carjacking conviction will result in a felony record, which can have a long-lasting impact on your future, including limiting your employment opportunities and housing options.
- Probation: In some cases, individuals may be eligible for probation, but this typically involves strict conditions, such as mandatory counseling, community service, and regular check-ins with a probation officer.
- Three Strikes Law: Carjacking is considered a "strike" under California's Three Strikes Law. If you have a prior strike conviction and are convicted of carjacking, you may face significantly enhanced penalties, including a potential life sentence.
Defenses Against Carjacking Charges
Some potential defenses against carjacking charges may include:
- Mistaken Identity: If there is any doubt about the identity of the alleged carjacker, we can argue that you were wrongly accused.
- Lack of Force or Fear: To secure a carjacking conviction, the prosecution must prove that the vehicle was taken through force or fear. If these elements are not present, it can be a powerful defense.
- Consent: If the vehicle owner willingly allowed you to take their vehicle, it can be argued that there was no carjacking.
- Alibi: If you have a strong alibi proving that you were not at the scene of the alleged carjacking, it can be used to challenge the charges against you.
- Fourth Amendment Violations: If evidence was received through an unlawful search and seizure, we may be able to have that evidence suppressed, weakening the prosecution's case.
- Self-Defense: In some cases, it may be possible to argue that you acted in self-defense, fearing for your safety or life.
Contact Our Carjacking Lawyer in Modesto Today
At Forkner Orlando & Echevarria, we understand the gravity of the situation and are here to provide you with the strong defense you need. Our Modesto carjacking attorneys will work tirelessly to protect your rights, explore potential defenses, and pursue the best possible outcome for your case. Remember, you don't have to face these charges alone—let us be your advocates in the courtroom.
Contact Forkner Orlando & Echevarria today to get started with our Modesto carjacking attorney.