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The elements of a carjacking charge

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2018 | Federal Crimes

Those who steal a car that has been shipped to Texas from another state or country while possessing a firearm could face a federal carjacking charge. A carjacking charge may also apply instances when a person merely attempts to take a car by force or threatens the person in possession of the vehicle. Furthermore, an individual must have the intent to cause bodily injury or death while committing the act.

There are a variety of penalties that an individual could face if convicted of this charge. If bodily injury or death does not occur when the crime is committed, an individual could spend up to 15 years in prison, pay a fine or do both. If bodily injury occurs, the penalty increases to up to 25 years in prison in addition to a possible fine. Finally, if a victim is killed, a defendant could face up to life in prison or the death penalty.

Those who have been accused of carjacking or any other offense may benefit from consulting with a criminal defense attorney. This may make it easier to dispute the charge in a variety of different ways. For instance, it may be possible to argue that a vehicle had not been shipped across state lines or imported from another country before the crime taking place.

It may also be possible to argue that there was no intent to cause injury to another person. Finally, an attorney might argue that there was no intent to take the vehicle in question. If successful, a defendant may be able to receive a plea bargain or have a case thrown out entirely. This may make it possible to avoid spending time in jail or any other possible penalties related to a criminal charge.