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Carjacking – a robbery offense with serious consequences

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2024 | CRIMINAL LAW - Felonies

Maryland law defines carjacking as obtaining unauthorized possession or control of a motor vehicle from another person, against that person’s will, by force, violence or putting that person in fear through intimidation or threat of force or violence.

This means that carjacking isn’t a mere theft offense but a robbery offense instead. It’s a serious crime, and as a felony, it can lead to severe penalties for anyone convicted.

If you’re charged with carjacking in Maryland, what can you expect?

Distinguishing carjacking and armed carjacking

State law classifies the offense into one of two types: carjacking and armed carjacking.

For carjacking, the offense involves taking a vehicle through force or intimidation without the use of a dangerous or deadly weapon.

Meanwhile, a person faces charges for armed carjacking if they employed a dangerous or deadly weapon during the incident. These weapons may include firearms, knives, explosives or any other object that’s capable of causing death or serious bodily harm.

The penalties for carjacking

The penalties for these vehicular robbery offenses are severe. They include:

  • Carjacking: A conviction can lead to up to 30 years of imprisonment.
  • Armed carjacking: Using a dangerous weapon raises the maximum potential sentence to 30 years without the possibility of parole.

There’s a mandatory minimum sentence for both offenses due to their nature as violent crimes. The minimum sentences are:

  • First conviction: At least five years of imprisonment.
  • Second conviction: At least 10 years of imprisonment.

On top of imprisonment, carjacking convictions may also result in extended periods of supervised probation and fines of up to $15,000.

Carjacking is a robbery offense, which is why it’s a felony punishable by years in prison. If you face charges, you should be aware of the potential consequences that await you. Legal counsel may be able to present you with defense options while representing you in court. It’s no joke to face charges, so you must approach your defense carefully.