Haddonfield Carjacking Attorney
Carjacking offenses in Camden County, New Jersey, are first degree crimes. Unlike automobile theft, carjacking requires more than just an unlawful taking of an automobile; the crime requires a person to use force, threat or force, or threat of harm during the commission of the unlawful taking. Individuals convicted of carjacking in Camden County face a term of imprisonment between ten (10) and thirty (30) years, depending upon the circumstances of the underlying act. The team of criminal trial attorneys at Marshall, Bonus, Proetta & Oliver in Cherry Hill have a plethora of experience handling indictable offenses, carjacking included, at the Camden County Superior Court. For assistance with your pending charges, contact our office. Our attorneys are available to speak with you are your earliest convenience. Contact us at 856-662-8300.
How Does a Prosecutor Prove a Carjacking Offense?
A person can be convicted of carjacking under N.J.S.A. 2C:15-2 if the State proves, beyond a reasonable doubt, that during the course of course of an unlawful taking of a vehicle, the accused:
- inflicted bodily injury or used force on the car’s occupant or person in possession of the vehicle; or
- threatened an occupant or person in possession of the vehicle, with the purpose or knowledge that the threat would put the person in fear of bodily injury; or
- committed or threatened immediately to commit a first or second degree crime; or
- operated or caused the vehicle to be operated with the previous occupant of the motor vehicle remaining in the vehicle.
For the purpose of the carjacking statute under N.J.S.A. 2C:15-2, a person will be deemed to act in the course of an unlawful taking if it occurs during an attempt to commit the unlawful taking or during an immediate flight after the attempt or commission. A person commits attempted unlawful taking, or an unlawful taking, when they attempt to dispossess a legal operator without the express authority of that individual or the car’s owner. While the legalese of the statute may seem confusing, it essentially boils down to taking the vehicle without permission.
Although courts are somewhat split, an individual can be convicted of Carjacking even if the victim is not in the car at the time of the taking. In one such case, State v. Matarama, the court determined that the carjacking provision applied where a woman just exited her car and was robbed while entering her home a short distance away. However, in State v. Jenkins the court said that constructive possession of a vehicle some distance away from a robbery that resulted in the car’s taking was not sufficient to trigger the carjacking statute; instead, the robbery provision under N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1 applied.
What is the Grade of a Carjacking Offense in NJ?
A person that is convicted of carjacking in Camden County, New Jersey, commits a first degree crime.
What are the Penalties for a Carjacking Conviction?
Carjacking is one of a number of offenses that has express sentencing standards written into the statute. N.J.S.A. 2C:15-2 states that individuals convicted of this crime be sentenced to a term of imprisonment between 10 and 30 years. Furthermore, individuals sentenced under this provision must serve a mandatory minimum of 5 years before becoming parole eligible. In addition to a mandatory prison term, individuals can face up to a $250,000 fine and can be subject to civil penalties for damages to victims. For immediate assistance with your pending carjacking, robbery or automobile theft charges, contact one of our Cherry Hill Office to speak to a highly experienced Camden County criminal attorney.