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Van Nuys Carjacking Attorney

Criminal Lawyer Serving San Fernando Valley


As you might guess, the crime of carjacking is a very serious crime. However, there are different scenarios that I see occur during an alleged crime that should not be charge as carjacking in Los Angeles. Many times the prosecutors have attempted to overcharge the case by use of the carjacking crime to force a plea by the defendant. This is of course inappropriate, but it takes a savvy criminal defense attorney to point this out and properly defend the case.

Unless a person is attempting to take another person's car away and keep it during the crime, carjacking should not be charged against them. The policy behind the carjacking statute relates to individuals using force or fear to take the vehicle of another person. Unfortunately, I see prosecutors across Los Angeles County attempting to charge people inappropriately because they're angry with what the defendant has done in a particular case.


There is case law related to charging people with carjacking in Los Angeles that permits the prosecutors to seek a carjacking conviction for situations where the defendant only wanted to take the car for a limited time or limited purposes. Sometimes there are scenarios where people are in the process of trying to escape after committing a serious felony and they take another person's car away from them in the process of escaping the other crime. Even though there is a strong arguement that in this situation the carjacker is not trying to permanently deprive the owner of the car, it has been determined by the courts that this temporary taking is good enough to establish a conviction for carjacking.

I have also seen cases where the carjacker actually never drives the car themselves, but has the owner assist them by driving the car away from the scene of a crime by use of force or fear. In this situation, the elements of carjacking would be met and the person could be charged with the crime and face the same sentence as someone who commits a classic carjacking. If you are in doubt about what your charges should be, I invite you to come and sit down with me to discuss your case and what the ins and outs of the carjacking statute are and what I can do to help you or your loved one.

A conviction for carjacking can result in up to 9 years in prison and if the person is convicted, they will have a strike under the California Three Strikes Law on their record for the rest of their life. Due to the nature of the crime as a violent felony, one must serve at least 85% of his or her sentence to be eligible for parole versus the usually fifty percent in non-felony case.

If during the commission of the crime carjacking, a death results then the person will have to deal with first degree murder charges and may end up spending the rest of their life in prison.

Common defenses to carjacking are consent to have possession of the car, mistaken identity, and the fact that our client may not even have used force or fear.

We have the experience, skill, and knowledge in dealing with cases involving carjacking. If you or a loved one is charged with carjacking in a Los Angeles County Courthouse, come and sit down to discuss what you options are and what the best course of action is related to your particular case. Get in touch with our firm.

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The Hedding Law Firm

Phone: (818) 986-2092 | (866) 986-2092
The Hedding Law Firm
Phone: (818) 986-2092
Encino-San Fernando Valley Address:
16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436
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Los Angeles-Downtown Address:
445 South Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90071