Newport News Carjacking Lawyer

As defined in Virginia, carjacking is the intentional seizure of a motor vehicle that belongs to somebody else and seizing it by putting the other person in fear of injury. For example, if a person stole an unoccupied car, that is not a carjacking, that is auto theft. If a person sees somebody driving the car and they threaten, injure, or kill the driver to seize it, that is a carjacking. Due to the fact that this charge is a serious felony, it is important to get to get in contact with an aggressive defense attorney such as a Newport News carjacking lawyer as soon as possible.

Penalties of a Carjacking in Newport News

Carjacking is a felony in Virginia that carries with it a penalty of fifteen years to life in prison. Even after serving time, a person could be labeled a felon for the rest of their life if convicted. Also, since they will have to provide a DNA sample, they will not be able to escape their past. However, the harshest penalty for carjacking in Virginia is life in prison. Although most charges do not result in a sentence that harsh, it is still an option for a judge or jury, depending on the circumstances of the case.

How do Prior Criminal Convictions Impact a Carjacking Case?

In a carjacking case, if a person charged with it has a significant criminal history, the Commonwealth is less likely to make a plea offer and reduce the charges. A criminal record can affect their credibility at trial, should they choose to testify. At sentencing, a person’s criminal record can affect them either as to the guidelines or if their criminal record is brought up to a jury. A person charged with this offense with past prior criminal convictions should contact a Newport News carjacking lawyer to get started on building a strong defense in anticipation of aggressive prosecution.

Different Strategies Attorneys when Handling Carjacking Case

Attorneys will examine the facts and details of a case before deciding on which strategy to undertake. Should a Newport News carjacking lawyer claim that the person charged was not the person who committed the carjacking, the attorney must be able to establish where the defendant was at the time of the crime as well as presenting an alibi who can vouch for the defendant’s whereabouts.

Another strategy an attorney can choose is to state that there was no actual carjacking. An attorney would claim that the defendant did not use any harm or threats and that the use of the vehicle was voluntary. However, if the defendant admits to committing the crime, the desire would potentially be to mitigate the charges and penalties to resolve the case in the best way possible for the defendant given the set of circumstances.

Reduced Sentencing Options

Part of a Newport News carjacking lawyer’s goal with carjacking charges is to get them reduced to a lesser offense. They look at the facts of the case and see whether there are any weaknesses or something that can be leveraged with the Commonwealth to get a reduction. Other times, they are able to negotiate something that works for all parties and avoid the trial.

What is the Difference Between Carjacking and Joyriding in Newport News?

There are two differences between joyriding and carjacking. Joyriding is usually the taking of a car that is unoccupied, with the intent not to keep it forever. A person who partakes in joyriding will usually just leave the car after driving it. In a carjacking, the vehicle must be occupied and the thief must take the car using physical violence. Threats and other methods of intimidation could also be considered elements of a carjacking. The thief must then get possession of the vehicle with the intent to keep it and not return it.

Benefits of Hiring a Newport News Carjacking Attorney

Carjacking is a very serious form of robbery and theft, carrying high penalties which may require the assistance of a Newport News carjacking lawyer. You can expect for an attorney to seek out all the details of what allegedly took place and all of the surrounding facts of the case. An attorney is most effective when they have plenty of time on their hands to help you build a case and look at all the facts of evidence of the case. That is why it is important to contact an attorney sooner rather than later. By doing so, you give yourself a good chance of presenting a convincing defense in court.