In DC, carjacking is a felony offense with severe consequences. In general, carjacking is forcefully or violently taking a car from another person’s possession. It is important to discuss their case with a DC carjacking lawyer as soon as a person knows that they are being investigated or charged with carjacking. Contact an experienced theft lawyer about creating a defense on your behalf.
To prove carjacking, the government is required to prove four elements. The government must prove that the person took the motor vehicle from the immediate possession of another person against the individual’s will and that they did so without the right to take it.
The government also must show that the person used physical force or violence in taking the vehicle. The government must show that the person did this voluntarily and not by mistake.
To show that the person took possession of the motor vehicle against the other person’s will, the government may show that the other person struggled with the defendant or resisted in giving up the vehicle.
To prove that the person used physical force or violence, it is enough for the government to show that the person used only words or gestures as long as the complaining witness was put in fear of danger.
Carjacking is different from auto theft in that carjacking requires more. It requires proof that the person actually took the vehicle from someone else’s possession and used physical force or violence in taking it.
Joyriding is using another person’s automobile without the rightful owner’s permission.
Carjacking involves using physical force or violence to take a vehicle from a person who is in immediate possession of the vehicle.
Joyriding is considered to only be a misdemeanor whereas carjacking is a serious felony offense.
An example of a carjacking scenario is where a person comes up to an unknown driver of a car, stopped at a red light, opens the car door, pulls the driver out of the car, gets in and drives away.
As long as the driver was put in a reasonable fear of danger, this could also be carjacking scenario.
In preparing a defense for carjacking, a lawyer could gather evidence to show that the person did not use physical force or violence in taking the vehicle or they did so by mistake or accident.
A DC carjacking lawyer might try to argue that the person felt the vehicle was their own car based on similarities of the vehicles and therefore, they may have a defense of mistake.
If a person is the rightful owner of the vehicle and they tried to stop someone else from driving away, that is also a strong defense to carjacking. The lawyer will also try to attack the credibility of the complaining witness.
If the crime occurred at night or while it was raining, the complaining witness most likely did not have a clear view of the person who carjacked the car.
If the person accused of carjacking and the complaining witness had a poor relationship in the past, their lawyer may try to argue that the complaining witness was biased.
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