Carjacking Charges in Arizona
Theft charges in the state of Arizona can take on many different forms. There are different punishments for different types of charges associated with theft in Arizona. One of the more aggressive charges for theft results from carjacking. Carjacking is the violent theft of an occupied vehicle. Carjacking, if convicted, is a class 3 felony charge.
Class 3 Felony in Arizona
If convicted of a class 3 felony in the state of Arizona, it carries a presumptive term of three and one-half years in prison. The aggravated term for this charge is eight years and nine months. For car theft charges, such as carjacking, the value for class 3 felonies results from $4,000 or more worth of the stolen property or items.
ARS § 13-1814 explains the law for car theft in the state of Arizona. It states that a person commits car theft if they do the following without lawful authority:
- Controls another person’s vehicle with the intention to deprive the person of the vehicle permanently.
- Keeps the vehicle for an unauthorized amount of time despite the owner giving them a specified amount of time to borrow the vehicle.
- Misrepresents intentions when obtaining another person’s vehicle with the intention of not returning it to the person.
- Comes to possess a vehicle by means of a mistaken delivery and assuming the identity of the party the vehicle was intended for. The theft occurs when the person does not seek out the intended recipient of the vehicle.
- Controlling another person’s vehicle, knowing that it is stolen.
Falsely reporting a theft is also considered to be a criminal offense with criminal charges attached to it.
Defending Carjacking Charges
Unfortunately, there are not a lot of easily explained defenses for carjacking cases. A criminal defense lawyer in Arizona can help your case by initially trying to get your charges reduced. By reducing your charges from carjacking, you could face less than a class 3 felony charge. This means less jail or prison time.
When you find yourself arrested for charges of carjacking in the state of Arizona, make sure that you call a criminal defense attorney who is experienced in these types of cases. If your lawyer cannot get the prosecution to drop the charges or reduce them, the case will most likely go in front of a jury. It will then be up to the jury if you are found guilty of the carjacking charges.
Once the charges have been filed and the trial has begun, your criminal defense attorney will shift their attention to getting any sentences reduced. Factors that will influence their efforts are if their client is considered a juvenile, if excessive force was used, or if a gun was used.
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Finding an Attorney
The first thing you need to do after being arrested and charged with a carjacking charge is to call an attorney. A criminal defense attorney in Arizona can help you navigate the legal system and understand the implications of a carjacking charge. You should not try to defend yourself in court with this kind of charge. A conviction of carjacking is severe and can come with very large amounts of prison time. When you need help, a criminal defense attorney in Arizona can handle your case.