Carjacking

Trenton NJ Carjacking Charges Lawyers

Carjacking is one of the most serious criminal felony offenses under the New Jersey code. As you see below, anyone convicted of carjacking in New Jersey will be facing up to thirty (30) years in a State Prison and a fine up to $200,000. In addition to that, a Defendant now runs the risk of being held in the Mercer County Jail, without bail, pending trial because of the new bail guidelines that came into effect in 2017. Based on the new bail guidelines, the prosecution has the right to request what is known as a Detention Hearing if they feel like the Defendant possess such a danger to the community that they must be held without bail. If that is granted, the Defendant would be forced to defend their charges from behind bail. So, now more than ever, if you have been charged with a serious offense like carjacking, it is imperative that you speak to an experienced Mercer County criminal defense lawyer about your options. Most Defendants charged with carjacking also find themselves facing other serious charges like unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary or terroristic threats. If you have been charged with any of the aforementioned charges in Mercer County, the Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver can help. We serve all of Mercer County, including towns like Hightstown, Princeton, Trenton, Robbinsville, East Windsor, West Windsor and Ewing. If you would like to discuss your options with one of our Mercer County criminal defense attorneys then please contact us directly at (609)789-0779. As always, our initial consultations are free. Now here is some key information on carjacking charges, including what the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

How to Defend Carjacking Charges in NJ

Charged with a violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:15-2 in NJ?

In layman’s terms, the offense of carjacking is the unlawful taking of a motor vehicle by either force or threat of force. The governing statute in New Jersey for carjacking is N.J.S.A. 2C:15-2. In order to be convicted of this offense, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following elements:

  • That the Defendant was in the course of committing a theft of a motor vehicle; &
  • While doing so, the Defendant:
    • The victim suffered bodily injury; or
    • The Defendant used force against the victim in order to gain possession of the motor vehicle; or
    • The Defendant threatened the victim or put the victim in fear of immediate bodily injury; or
    • The Defendant committed or threatened to immediately commit a crime of the first or second degree; or
    • The victim or victims were still present in the motor vehicle when the Defendant left the scene with the vehicle.

What Qualifies as “Theft” in NJ?

The “theft” or “unlawful taking” addressed above does not require permanency. Meaning the State does not need to prove that it was the Defendant’s underlying intent to deprive the owner permanently of their vehicle. They can simply show that the Defendant’s intent was to temporarily deprive them of ownership.   

What are the Penalties for Carjacking in NJ?

Carjacking is a first degree felony offense in New Jersey. Unlike most first degree felony offenses, this offense requires a Defendant to be sentenced to a term of imprisonment anywhere from ten (10) to thirty (30) years and a fine up to $200,000. Most first degree felony offenses require a Defendant to be sentenced to a term of imprisonment anywhere from ten (10) to twenty (20) years. So as you can see, the legislatures have chosen to increase the potential penalties for this specific offense. In addition, since this is a first degree felony offense, a Defendant would not be entitled to participate in the Pretrial Intervention Program or the Drug Court Program.

Carjacking Lawyer in Hamilton NJ

As you can tell from reading above, carjacking is very serious offense in New Jersey and if not handled properly could land a Defendant behind bars for up to thirty (30) years. If you have been arrested and charged with eluding, receiving stolen property, burglary, armed robbery, possession of a gun or aggravated assault, the Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver can help. If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Hopewell, Lawrence, West Windsor, Hamilton, Trenton or elsewhere in Mercer County and would like to speak to one of our attorneys about your options then please contact us at (609) 789-0779. We are available around the clock to help provide assistance in anyway possible.