As experienced criminal defense attorneys practicing throughout South Florida, our lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert routinely handle all different types of criminal cases. Some of the types of cases in which we have the most experience are those involving carjacking charges. Indeed, despite what you might think, “carjacking” is not simply a colloquial term; it is recognized by the Florida State Statutes and explicated in s. 812.133 below:
(1) "Carjacking" means the taking of a motor vehicle which may be the subject of larceny from the person or custody of another, with intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person or the owner of the motor vehicle, when in the course of the taking there is the use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear.
(2)(a) If in the course of committing the carjacking the offender carried a firearm or other deadly weapon, then the carjacking is a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life imprisonment or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(b) If in the course of committing the carjacking the offender carried no firearm, deadly weapon, or other weapon, then the carjacking is a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(3)(a) An act shall be deemed "in the course of committing the carjacking" if it occurs in an attempt to commit carjacking or in flight after the attempt or commission.
(b) An act shall be deemed "in the course of the taking" if it occurs either prior to, contemporaneous with, or subsequent to the taking of the property and if it and the act of taking constitute a continuous series of acts or events.
In defending carjacking cases, our experienced criminal defense attorneys always make sure to keep the burden of proof on the prosecution; according to our justice system, the accused must be considered innocent until proven guilty. As such, our clients do not have to prove that they had not committed a crime – rather, the prosecution must prove that the defendant indeed committed a given crime in order for them to be convicted and sentenced.
With these cases, as our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers, there are often issues of misunderstandings that escalate into what are perceived to be criminal acts. For example, let’s say a boyfriend and girlfriend, who live together, are in a heated discussion. During the argument, the boyfriend needs to go to work and so he goes to take the car that the two share, though the car is legally under the name of the girlfriend. Let’s say the boyfriend says something that the girlfriend understood in a manner that made her fearful. In this case, the boyfriend could ostensibly be charged with carjacking because he took a car that technically belongs to someone else and obtained it, according to the girlfriend, though putting the car’s owner – the girlfriend – in fear. This would clearly be a simple issue of a domestic dispute rather than a first-degree felony, but in a situation like this, the boyfriend would need to retain an experienced attorney who is well versed in the law and the local court system in order to protect himself.
Our criminal defense lawyers are all former prosecutors; as such, we have inside knowledge into how these cases are prosecuted and, as a result, we know what defense strategies work best. If you have been arrested for or charged with carjacking in Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade County, contact us for a free consultation by calling 1-888-5-DEFEND (1-888-533-3363).