First Degree Carjacking Charge in Elizabeth NJ
Crimes that involve the most violence are often the same ones that get the vigorous attention of the Union County Prosecutors Office and carjacking definitely falls under this category. Carjacking tends to be a high profile offense which draws public fear and alarm. The botched carjacking at Short Hills Mall that resulted in the shooting death of attorney Dustin Friedland is a perfect example of just how extreme this offense can get. This highly-publicized events such as this have reinforced the importance of deterring those who make the mistake of engaging in this form of theft offense. If you have been charged with carjacking, it has never been more important time to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall include former county prosecutors and an eight lawyer defense team that has over 100 years of combined experience. We represent clients charged with carjacking throughout Union County including Cranford, Kenilworth, Union Township, Roselle and Plainfield. All of these cases are directed to the Union County Superior Court in Elizabeth for handling since this is the only court with authority to decide a first degree crime like carjacking. The lawyers at our firm have been appearing at this venue on behalf of clients for decades and are astute in navigating the court system. To speak to a lawyer in our Union NJ Office, call us at 908-272-1700. The initial consultation is free of charge.
New Jersey Carjacking Law & Penalties
Carjacking is one of the most serious charges in the New Jersey Criminal Code, occupying the highest grade of offense, a first degree crime. N.J.S.A. 2C:15-2 defines carjacking as the unlawful taking of a motor vehicle by means of one of four types of conduct. Since the statute requires the unlawful taking of a “motor vehicle”, the offense can only arise out of the theft of a car, truck, boat, etc. When this occurs, the first way a person can be convicted of carjacking is if they use force or inflict bodily injury on the occupant or the person in control of the related vehicle. The second variety of carjacking is triggered where someone threatens the use of force so as to place a victim in fear of immediate bodily injury. Third, a defendant can be convicted of carjacking if they unlawfully took a motor vehicle by committing (or attempting to commit) a crime of the first or second degree against the occupant or person in control of the vehicle. The fourth and final type of conduct covered under the carjacking statute occurs when someone unlawfully takes a motor vehicle and operates it while the occupant or person in control of the vehicle is forced to remain inside. This type of conduct also encompasses a carjacker who forced the occupant of the vehicle to operate it themselves.
As previously stated, carjacking is a crime of the first degree punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to thirty (30) years. In addition, since carjacking is a crime covered by the No Early Release Act (NERA), there is a period of parole ineligibility that must be imposed at the time of sentencing. NERA mandates that any convicted of carjacking serve a mandatory minimum term in prison equal to at least eighty-five percent (85%) of the sentence imposed before being eligible for parole or other form of early release. There is also a fine of up to $200,000 that may be imposed for this offense.
Elizabeth NJ Carjacking Defense Attorneys
All carjacking charges and indictments are handled in one place in Union County whether the incident occurred in Linden, Clark, Hillside, Springfield, or Westfield or another municipality, and that is at the Elizabeth Superior Court Courthouse. Our defense attorneys have over a century of collective experience successfully appearing in this court. We are prepared to fight for you so that the very best result can be attain the favorable result you are looking for. Call us at 908-272-1700 for immediate assistance from an attorney on our staff.