This crime is punishable by:
- Imprisonment in the state prison for a maximum of fifteen years, or in a jail or house of correction for a maximum of 2.5 years, and
- Minimum fine of $1,000
- Imprisonment in the state prison for a maximum of twenty years, or in a jail or house of correction for a mandatory minimum of 1 year, but no more than 2.5 years
In 1992, Congress made it a federal crime to use a weapon while in progress of hijacking or stealing a motor vehicle. This new law came during the peak of carjacking crimes and was partially due to the expansive media coverage of high profile carjacking thefts, several of which resulted in deaths. The United States Department of Justice estimates that in about half of all carjacking attempts, the attacker succeeds in stealing the victim's car. A report conducted by the USDOJ from 1993-2002 showed roughly 38,000 carjacking attempts took place per year, and a weapon was used in 74% of carjacking victimizations. Firearms were used in 45% of carjackings, knives in 11% and other weapons in 18%. Many U.S. states, such as Louisiana and Arizona, include defending oneself against forcible entry of an occupied motor vehicle as part of their definition of justifiable homicide.
WHAT THE PROSECUTION MUST PROVE
In order for the prosecution to secure a conviction against a defendant for the criminal offense of carjacking, they must be able to prove the following beyond reasonable doubt:
- That the defendant took a motor vehicle from the person or presence of another;
- That the defendant did so by force, violence, or intimidation;
- That the defendant intended to cause serious bodily injury;
- That the motor vehicle was either transported or shipped or received in interstate or foreign commerce; and
- That the defendant acted knowingly and willfully.
If you have been charged with carjacking in Massachusetts, do not waste precious time; contact a relentless criminal defense attorney who will preserve your rights and effectively defend your case. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy is a highly intelligent and resourceful Massachusetts criminal defense attorney who has 18 years of successful experience defending clients facing criminal charges such as Assault and Battery on a Child under 14 Causing Bodily Injury. Patrick J. Murphy is a Boston, Massachusetts assault and battery crimes defense attorney who is available 24/7 to provide you with a free and confidential legal assessment of your case. For additional information please call 617-367-0450 or complete the contacts tab on our website.