Carjacking Attorneys in Newark, NJ
Aggressive Criminal Defense Lawyers Fight Carjacking Charges in Essex and Union Counties, New Jersey
Carjacking is a violent crime that carries some of the most severe punishments in the NJ Criminal Code. Since carjacking is considered both a theft crime involving the robbery of an automobile and an assault offense involving the threat of violence, New Jersey prosecutors are often reluctant to make deals with defendants and typically seek maximum punishments at trial. As a result, anyone who has been charged with carjacking would be best served by securing experienced legal counsel to represent them.
If you have been accused of committing carjacking, or any other form of auto theft, Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC can help you fight the charges and avoid the most significant penalties. Our criminal defense team has years of experience defending individuals against carjacking charges and other criminal charges throughout Union, Somerset and Essex counties, including Scotch Plains, Bernards Township and Montclair. You can reach us day or night to go over your case and explore your legal options.
Carjacking Law in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:15-2
Carjacking charges in NJ are governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:15-2. The statute specifies a number of different circumstances which can give rise to a carjacking charge. As set forth by New Jersey law, you can be charged with carjacking if:
- You inflict bodily injury or use force upon either an occupant of a motor vehicle or a person in control of the motor vehicle.
- You don’t actually touch an occupant of a car or a person in control of the car but you threaten them with immediate bodily injury.
- You commit, or threaten to immediately commit, any first or second degree felony during the course of an unlawful taking of an automobile.
- You operate the motor vehicle while the victim remains in the car. (Or you cause the vehicle to be operated while another person remains in the car.)
Keep in mind that NJ prosecutors tend to interpret the carjacking law broadly. As a result, you can be charged with felony carjacking even if you didn’t actually enter the motor vehicle. All that is required for a carjacking charge is that you took control of the vehicle at some point and used force or threatening conduct.
Penalties for Carjacking in Union County, Somerset County, and Essex County, NJ
Since carjacking is considered a violent crime, a conviction will likely result in serious incarceration time. The statute classifies the offense as a first degree felony. Under ordinary circumstances, a first degree crime is punishable by up to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison. Carjacking, however, is treated differently under NJ law; anyone convicted of a carjacking offense is subject to a sentencing range of 10 to 30 years in state prison. Additionally, the inclusion of carjacking on the list of enumerated offenses in the No Early Release Act (NERA) means that a person who is convicted of carjacking will have to serve at least 85 percent of their sentence before they are eligible for release on parole.
In addition to facing the possibility of a lengthy period of incarceration, criminal defendants in NJ carjacking cases often have a tough time securing their release on bail. That’s because New Jersey judges are allowed to set extremely high bail amounts in carjacking cases, with bail usually exceeding $100,000 and going all the way up to $250,000. Beyond that, a 10-percent cash bail option is typically not available for anyone charged with carjacking.
Related NJ Criminal Charges: Gun Crimes, Aggravated Assault, Kidnapping, and False Imprisonment
Carjacking is a violent theft crime in which offenders often use deadly weapons, as well as the threat of force. As a result, carjacking charges in New Jersey may be accompanied by additional charges for unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, aggravated assault, kidnapping and false imprisonment. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could be facing multiple criminal charges that subject you to an extended period of incarceration because NJ judges are allowed to impose consecutive sentences.
Free Consultation with Experienced Carjacking Lawyers in Scotch Plains, Bernards Township, and Montclair, New Jersey
A qualified attorney from Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC can fight carjacking charges on your behalf and help you avoid the most severe penalties. If you or a loved one has been accused of carjacking, or any other violent crime in New Jersey, it is imperative that you contact our team right away so we can begin strategizing a strong defense on your behalf. Call us now to discuss your carjacking charges or schedule a free consultation at one of our offices in Scotch Plains, Newark, Clifton, Morristown, East Brunswick or Cherry Hill, NJ.