In a year’s time, more than 17,000 people are arrested in California for violating for unlawful motor vehicle theft. When theft of a vehicle involves forcibly taking it from the possession of another individual, the offense is classified as carjacking. Carjacking involves an element of fear that is caused by use of a weapon or other means of force. If you have been arrested for motor vehicle theft or carjacking, the charges are serious and it is important to consult a criminal defense lawyer who can provide you with informed guidance.
Our attorneys will take time to learn the facts of your arrest and will work to explore the options available to you. We know that an arrest is an upsetting and stressful time in anyone’s life and have built a reputation of success, both in negotiating lesser charges and in securing dismissals of charges.
You may have heard the term “grand theft auto” used in movies and television shows. In California, grand theft applies to instances where the property stolen had a value in excess of $400. That means that theft of an automobile worth more than $400 constitutes grand theft auto under Penal Code 487(d). Although such a charge can be classified as a misdemeanor under some circumstances, vehicle theft is usually charged as a felony in San Bernardino and Riverside County. If convicted of felony auto theft under Vehicle Code 10851 or Penal Code 487(d), a person can be sentenced up to 16 months, two years or three years in state prison.
When you are accused of carjacking, the possible penalties you could face are more serious. Forcibly taking a vehicle from someone is a felony offense, and California law imposes a sentencing range of three years, five years or nine years in state prison for carjacking. The sentence can be a lengthened if a weapon was used, or if the individual has a prior strike or commits the act in furtherance of a criminal street gang. Under California’s three strikes law, a conviction for carjacking under Penal Code 215 is considered a strike.
Charges of motor vehicle theft are serious, and a carjacking arrest is even more serious because of the greater penalties involved. If you or someone you know is facing such charges, you need a powerful legal advocate. By contacting a good defense attorney, you can be assured that your lawyer will take swift action to examine your situation and ensure the best possible outcome given the circumstances of your case. You need a criminal defense attorney who has proven experience in handling vehicle theft and carjacking cases, and the San Bernardino and Riverside auto theft lawyers at our firm deliver results.
Our practice has built a record of success, achieved through powerful negotiation skills and commanding courtroom strategies. If your future is at risk because of an auto theft case, contact our office for a free consultation regarding the situation.
Client charged with possession for sales and gang enhancement. Client faced 16 years in prison with the gang and prior strike allegation. Client turned down 8 year pretrial offer with prior attorney before going to trial. Not guilty on all charges at trial. (People v. Antwan B.)
Client charged with attempt murder, accessory after the fact and gang enhancement after shots fired at a dwelling. Client turned down 15 year pretrial offer. During trial, plea deal reached for probation with time served. (People v. Rudy B.)
Client charged with resisting arrest, obstruction of justice when cops performed a probation sweep at her residence. Client found not guilty on all counts at jury trial. (People v. Felicia M.)
Client charged with corporal injury to girlfriend after argument allegedly escalated. Client had significant exposure of 21 years because of prior strike, probation violation and GBI allegation. At trial, jury refused to convict client, returning hung verdict. (People v. Christopher P.)
Client charged with possession of methamphetamine for sale after traffic stop. Client claimed prejudice by prosecution’s delay in bringing the case to court. Motion filed on behalf of client asking the Court to dismiss the case as violative of client’s speedy trial rights. Motion granted and case dismissed. (People v. Shannon J.)