Carjacking is defined in Florida Statute Section 812.133. To prove Carjacking, the State must prove:
- You took the motor vehicle from the person or custody of the victim, and
- force, violence, assault, or putting in fear was used in the course of the taking, and
- the taking was with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the victim of his or her right to the motor vehicle or any benefit from it or to appropriate the motor vehicle of the victim to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to it.
An "assault" is an intentional and unlawful threat, either by word or act, to do violence to a victim, when it appears the person making the threat has the ability to carry out the threat, and the act creates in the mind of the victim a well-founded fear that violence is about to take place.
"In the course of the taking" means that the act occurred prior to, contemporaneous with, or subsequent to the taking of the property and that the act and the taking of the property constitutes a continuous series of acts or events.
The victim doesn't actually have to be in fear for you to be convicted of carjacking. It is enough if the jury concludes that a reasonable person would have been in fear or if force is used.
It would still be considered a carjacking even if the person the car was taken from wasn't the actual owner.
The amount of force required for a person to be convicted of a carjacking is very minimal. In fact, the victim doesn't have to resist at all if they fear death or great bodily harm. For example, if a group of boys surround one boy and demand his car, the boy does not have to resist if he reasonably fears that the group of boys will cause great bodily harm.
The taking must be by the use of force or violence or by assault so as to overcome the resistance of the victim, or by putting the victim in fear so that the victim does not resist. The law does not require that the victim of the robbery resist to any particular extent or that the victim offer any actual physical resistance if the circumstances are such that the victim is placed in fear of death or great bodily harm if he or she does resist. But unless prevented by fear, there must be some resistance to make the taking one done by force or violence.
The State must only prove that you took the car from the person or custody of the victim. If you used fear, intimidation, force, violence or assault to take the car, it would be a carjacking even if the victim wasn't inside the car.
Armed Carjacking is simply carjacking with a firearm or weapon. If you carry a firearm or weapon in the course of committing the carjacking, it is armed carjacking.
A "weapon" is any object that could be used to cause death or inflict serious bodily harm.
A "deadly weapon" is any weapon used or threatened to be used in a way likely to produce death or great bodily harm.
10 year minimum mandatory sentence up to life in prison
Armed Carjacking with a Firearm (No Actual Possession of Firearm)
Up to life in prison
Armed Carjacking with a Deadly Weapon
Up to life in prison
Carjacking (No Weapon)
Up to 30 years in prison
There may be many defenses to your particular Carjacking case, but some common defenses include that the actual taking was an afterthought after the use of force. For example, if you get into a mutual fight with someone during an argument and after the fight is over, you decide to take the car, you would have the "afterthought" defense, which would make the act a theft, rather than a robbery, if the jury agreed. Other defenses include that you did not use force, violence, assault or putting in fear during the taking. There are many different defenses unique to each set of facts. Give us a call to discuss your case.
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