Being charged with a crime in New Jersey can be a worrisome experience. Depending on the charges, a conviction can result in incarceration, fines and long-term consequences that negatively impact a person’s life even after the case is over and the penalties are completed. This is especially true if it is a charge of carjacking. To craft a viable defense, it is important to understand how carjacking is defined and how courts will handle it.
When will there be a carjacking charge?
There are certain basics about being charged with carjacking. Making the mistake of trying to take a vehicle by force or threat when there is an occupant inside will lead to an arrest. If a person is alleged to have stolen a motor vehicle or has attempted to do so and injured a person in the vehicle, it will likely result in a carjacking charge. Threatening an occupant of the vehicle and placing them in fear of bodily harm while trying to steal it will also be categorized as carjacking.
Those who are accused of a first-degree crime like murder in the commission of stealing a car will also likely be charged with carjacking. In addition, if there is a second-degree crime like assault while the car is being stolen, it will fall under this law. If the person tries to take a motor vehicle or flees after attempting or committing the theft, he or she will be charged with carjacking. Under state criminal law, these accusations are treated very seriously with substantial penalties.
Long-term incarceration is possible for a carjacking conviction
It is imperative to know that carjacking is a first-degree crime. With that, there can be a prison sentence of between 10 and 30 years. The minimum sentence without parole will be five years. Given the seriousness of these allegations, it is wise to know how to mount a strong legal defense. The evidence must be scrutinized.