Carjacking Defense Lawyer in Texas
Auto theft and carjacking are serious crimes in Texas. If you are accused of stealing someone else’s car, you could face hefty fines and imprisonment. Just because you were charged with carjacking does not necessarily mean that you will go to prison.
There might be a way to fight for your freedom in order to avoid a conviction. If you are accused of stealing someone else’s vehicle using the threat of intimidation, force, or violent act, it is advised to hire a criminal defense lawyer in Frisco, Denton, or other parts of Texas.
Here at the Law Office of Brent D. Bowen, PLLC, our carjacking defense attorney Brent D. Bowen understands the serious nature of the charges against you and can help you find the most effective defense strategy in your particular case.
Carjacking is Prosecuted Under Texas’s Robbery Law
In Texas, carjacking is prosecuted under the state’s robbery law. If you steal someone else’s car, you can be charged with either auto theft or carjacking, depending on whether the vehicle is stolen in the presence of its owner. When you steal an automobile directly from the owner using violent acts or the threat of force, you could be charged with robbery or aggravated robbery in Texas.
Since carjacking is prosecuted under Texas’s robbery law, the defendant is facing the same penalties as anyone convicted of forcibly stealing any other type of property from another person in the state.
Under Texas Penal Code 29, in order to convict you of carjacking – or robbery, for that matter – the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
- Caused bodily injury while stealing a motor vehicle from another person; or
- Placed the victim in fear of imminent harm or death while stealing a motor vehicle.
Penalties for Carjacking in Texas
Carjacking is charged as a second-degree felony in Texas and carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison in addition to a fine of no more than $10,000. You are also likely to be ordered to pay restitution to the victim, not to mention that the conviction may remain on your criminal record forever.
However, the charge can be elevated to a first-degree felony if you:
- Use or exhibit a deadly weapon while forcibly stealing a vehicle from another person; or
- Cause serious bodily injury to another person.
- A first-degree felony carries a prison sentence of up to 99 years as well as hefty fines.
Defenses to Carjacking in Texas
There are various defense strategies that can help you fight back carjacking charges. Potential defenses to carjacking charges in Texas include but are not limited to:
- Mistaken identity. If there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were the person who stole the automobile from the owner, your criminal defense attorney will question the prosecution’s case against you. It is not uncommon for innocent people to be accused of crimes due to their resemblance to the suspect.
- Lack of evidence. An experienced attorney will help you present a convincing alibi to prove that you were somewhere else at the time of the carjacking.
- Violation of Constitutional rights. If your constitutional rights were violated during your arrest, a carjacking charge could be dismissed.
- No threat of harm or violence. In Texas, the prosecution must prove that you used the threat of force or violence when stealing a vehicle directly from another person. A skilled criminal defense lawyer may help you prove that you did not place the car owner in fear of imminent harm or death or that you had reason to believe that the vehicle belonged to you.
Schedule a consultation with our Frisco criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Brent D. Bowen, PLLC, to choose the most suitable defense strategy if you were charged with carjacking in Texas. Call at (940) 222-2488 for a case review.