West Palm Beach carjacking prosecution is often vigorous. Because carjacking is a violent crime, there are serious consequences to the charge itself, and consequences for being convicted. The prosecution prosecutes carjacking vigorously in order to show their dedication to protecting the local community, which is why individuals charged with carjacking should speak with a lawyer. If you have been charged with carjacking and want to discuss the best approaches to your case, speak with a skilled carjacking attorney today. A determined lawyer can fight tirelessly to defend you and build your case.
Prosecution’s Burden of Proof
When working on West Palm Beach carjacking prosecution, a prosecutor’s burden is to present all facts that are legally permissible in front of a jury in order to consider whether the person committed the crime with enough proof that is beyond a reasonable doubt. In a carjacking case, the prosecutor must prove to a jury beyond any reasonable doubt that the person accused took someone else’s car without that person’s permission, with violence or the threat of violence, and with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the rightful person of the use or benefit of the property.
If a firearm was used in that taking to cause the force, violence or assault, the prosecutor must prove that a firearm was used beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecutor will want to have the firearm, a picture of the firearm, or even just testimony that there was a firearm. If there was no firearm but the argument is that the car was taken using force, the prosecutor must present testimony that there was a forceful taking.
Reasonable doubt is when there is a lack of an abiding conviction of guilt based on all the evidence. If the West Palm Beach prosecution carjacking prosecution can prove a case with evidence and testimony and exhibits that a person committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt, then the jury may find the person guilty.
If there is a doubt that causes the jury to hesitate, then that doubt is a reasonable doubt. If a jury still has that doubt, it must return a verdict of not guilty. If a case goes to trial, it is a defense attorney’s job to find elements to raise doubts in the minds of the members of the jury.
Expert Witnesses Needed in a Case
The experts needed in a carjacking case would depend upon the facts given in any particular case. For example, an attorney may want to have a fingerprint expert to determine whether the defendant’s fingerprints were present. If the prosecution presents as evidence of a cigarette butt, a piece of chewing gum or a strand of hair and want to test it for DNA, the defense might want to have its own expert to evaluate and hopefully rebut this evidence.
Another common piece of evidence is footage from surveillance cameras. Many intersections and businesses in Florida have cameras, so many alleged acts of criminal activity are caught on video. On the other hand, the angle maybe not right, and the video quality is often lacking. Therefore, an expert might be needed to enhance the video or audio so the jury can see what actually happened. A variety of experts could potentially be needed based on the facts of the case, but three common experts are a fingerprint expert, DNA expert and an expert able to enhance a surveillance video.
Possibility of Probation or Reduced Sentencing
There are options for probation or reduced sentencing in carjacking cases. The maximum penalty for committing a carjacking with force is life in prison The actual sentence, if not the maximum, would be calculated or decided in one of two ways. There is a sentencing guidelines score sheet in Florida that will calculate the offense severity, prior record if any, whether there was any injury to the person and various other factors. The other way to determine the sentence would be through negotiations with the prosecutor that an experienced West Palm Beach theft lawyer routinely handles for the person they are defending.
The points will determine the minimum sentence, and the maximum in this hypothetical would be 25 years. The Judge has the discretion of what punishment to choose between the minimum and the maximum range, and sometimes the defense lawyer can help negotiate the final amount given. If a person has no prior offenses, the evidence against a person is weak, and there are questionable circumstance surrounding the theft (for example, a carjacking after a drug deal gone bad versus someone trying to force an elderly person out of their car), the defense attorney might be able to negotiate probation depending on the facts and circumstances and history of the person’s claim.
Consulting an Attorney
If you have been charged with carjacking, you should consult a skilled carjacking attorney. The West Palm Beach carjacking prosecution can be very aggressive and may push for higher sentences than are warranted. Your attorney will be able to look a the facts of the case, conduct their own investigation, and use all of this information to build your case. Work with a West Palm Beach carjacking lawyer and know that you are in good hands.