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Prince William County Carjacking Penalties

The legal punishment in Virginia for a carjacking conviction could be anywhere from 15 years to life in prison. Prince William County carjacking penalties may hold harsh penalties such as prison time, while also involving extensive fines and long-term consequences. By contacting a skilled carjacking attorney, you could potentially help to mitigate any intended penalties and build a strong case.

Possible Consequences of a Prince William County Carjacking Case

As with all felonies, the defendant could lose their right to vote and to bear arms, and they may be placed on felony probation supervision for many years upon release from prison. If the term of that supervision is violated, then the person may face a new felony charge of violating probation.

If that same defendant ends up being convicted of another felony, the sentencing guidelines may be substantially increased because of the prior conviction. The actions involved in a carjacking offense could also be the basis of a civil suit against the defendant if the plaintiff suffers harm warranting financial damages. There could also be a number of non-legal consequences including loss of employment eligibility and immigration statuses.

Past Convictions Affect on Future Penalties

Prior convictions may increase the range of the recommended prison sentence that a judge receives at the end of a bench trial. A prior felony conviction could increase the Prince William County carjacking penalties greatly, and prior felony convictions involving similarly violent behavior could dramatically increase this range.

Juries may be told of a person’s criminal record before sentencing and prosecutors could offer harsher plea deals knowing that the trial alternatives are aggravated by these prior convictions.

Evidence Needed for a Carjacking Charge

The prosecution may want to prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt in a carjacking charge:

  • That the defendant seized control of a motor vehicle belonging to another;
  • With an intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the person in possession or control of the vehicle of such possession or control; and
  • By inflicting actual or threatened serious bodily injury to accomplish the seizure of the vehicle.

The prosecution may also have to prove the basic circumstances of the offense such as jurisdiction, venue, and date of commission.

Useful Expert Witness in a Carjacking Case

Expert witnesses are not typically involved in a carjacking case unless there are some strange allegations regarding the stolen vehicle or the alleged weapon used to threaten the driver. Experts might be useful for sentencing if the accused suffers from a particularly serious or complex mental health disorder that relates to his behavior on the date of the offense.

Although criminal investigators may not be considered an expert witness, a defense attorney might recommend hiring one to assist with acquiring, understanding, and generating favorable forensic evidence for the defense.

Initial Steps That Could be Taken in Preparing a Prince William County Defense

After getting a candid account of what happened on the date of offense, and an accurate understanding of a person’s criminal history, a carjacking attorney may begin the formal discovery process.

A seasoned carjacking attorney may have a special concern for what happened to the vehicle, what evidence exists other than the plaintiff’s own version of events, and whether any weapons were recovered from the scene, the vehicle, or the defendant.

A carjacking attorney could lean towards negotiating a reasonable deal with the prosecution or towards preparing for trial. By contacting a cunning criminal defense attorney, an individual could help to bolster their case and defend themselves against potential Prince William County carjacking penalties.

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