Carjacking is a serious felony offense in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  If convicted, one could face imprisonment for a period of 15 years to life. If you or a loved one lives in the Hampton Roads region, and is facing this charge, you should contact an experienced and reputable Virginia Beach Criminal Lawyer.

What Must be “Taken” to Constitute the Crime of Carjacking?

To constitute the crime of “carjacking,” the object (or subject matter) that the State will allege as “stolen” must be a “motor vehicle.” In the Commonwealth of Virginia, it is important to keep in mind that the term “motor vehicle” is defined broadly by statute;  for example, the statute encompasses all self-propelled vehicles, but not electrically assisted bicycles nor mopeds. Your Virginia Beach Criminal Lawyer will ensure that the prosecution proves that the vehicle at issue is one that is defined as a “motor vehicle” under Virginia law.

What Must the Accused be Alleged to Have Done to Constitute the Crime of Carjacking?

Your Virginia Beach Criminal Lawyer will be diligent in addressing the issue at hand: that the prosecution has evidence of each element of the offense of carjacking. Carjacking requires that the person intentionally seized EITHER the vehicle OR control of it. For example, Virginia has held that a person can be considered to have “seized control” of a vehicle in a scenario where the owner is near. This is referred to as “constructive possession” of the vehicle.  In addition, “seizing control” includes the act of removing a passenger from a running vehicle, because the courts have held that a passenger, when seated in a running car, is the person in control.  Consult your Virginia Beach Criminal Lawyer to gain an understanding of the laws as they may apply to the specific facts of your case.

What is the Difference Between “Carjacking” and “Attempted Carjacking?”

Contact your Virginia Beach Criminal Lawyer to make certain the correct crime has been charged to yourself or a loved one. To be convicted of the crime of carjacking, the accused person must actually gain control of the automobile. He/She must take the vehicle, or gain control by assault or through a violent act committed against the person in possession.  The crime of “attempted carjacking” would occur in a scenario in which the accused physically attacked the person in possession coupled with intent to gain control, but without actually succeeding in doing so.

The distinction between the crimes of carjacking and attempted carjacking is an important one – Consult your Virginia Beach Criminal Lawyer today who will assist you in your time of need.
1. § 18.2-58.1

2. § 46.2-100.

3. Spencer v. Com., 42 Va. App. 443, 592 S.E.2d 400 (2004).

4. Brown v. Com., 37 Va. App. 507, 559 S.E.2d 415 (2002).

5. Abraham v. Com., 32 Va. App. 22, 526 S.E.2d 277 (2000).

6. Keyser v. Com., 22 Va. App. 747, 473 S.E.2d 93 (1996).