Carjacking Law in California

Under Sec 215 of the California Penal Code, the crime of carjacking is committed when an individual unlawfully takes a motor vehicle from the possession of the driver or passenger through the use of force, coercion or fear.

The following are elements of the crime of carjacking:

a)     A motor vehicle was taken by an individual not the owner;

b)     The said taking was done in the presence of another individual who was either in possession of the vehicle or as a passenger;

c)      The said taking was against the will or without the consent of the vehicle’s owner or passenger;

d)     There was force or fear used in the taking of the vehicle to prevent any objection from the owner or driver of the vehicle at the time of the taking;

e)     The force employed was either temporary or permanent;

There are other facts that need to be proven in this crime. The following facts need to be proven in order to be convicted of the crime of carjacking:

1)      The applied force or fear has the purpose of taking the vehicle, without which no crime of carjacking is committed;

2)     The possession of the vehicle must change together with some movement of the vehicle, even for a short distance;

3)     There was no consent given by the possessor or passenger of the vehicle and its subsequent movement;

4)     The possession of the vehicle can just be partial so long as there is control as to the movement of the vehicle;

5)     The fear imposed is fear of being injured or for others located nearby;

For commission of this crime, the prison time is up to nine years in state penitentiary. When the crime is committed through the use of a weapon or when the victim sustains injuries, then the penalties are enhanced in the crime of carjacking.

The crime of carjacking is a serious offense in California. Should you be or know anyone facing any of these charges, do reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today.