Law enforcement officers are cracking down heavily on carjacking cases in Chicago. The stiff sentence given to the accused in a violent November carjacking is a prime example. Another similar case of carjacking involved the car of a retired cop in Chicago. There have been several such cases in the past year alone.
Carjacking is increasingly becoming a menace in Chicago. The federal authorities are showing a keen interest in punishing the offenders. This further increases the conviction chances for the offenders.
Carjacking Crimes in Chicago
According to a Chicago Tribune report, 2017 recorded the highest number of carjacking cases. The crimes mostly involve criminals threatening victims at knife or gunpoint to steal their vehicles. The thieves use the stolen vehicles for burglaries, shootings, and other such crimes. The incidence of such crimes is seen all through Chicago. This is the reason for federal authorities to focus intently on carjacking cases here.
They blame the light punishment in Illinois for the high number of cases. The pursuit policy, which prevents chasing the erratically driven vehicles by the police, is also a big hindering factor.
Penalty for Carjacking
The federal and local police authorities are working together on carjacking cases. As a measure to nab the offenders, police cruisers have special license plate-reading sensors fixed to them. As an offender, your potential sentence can be quite severe if you are convicted of carjacking.
The highest charge will be life indictment if found guilty. The severe punishment is an effort to curb the growing carjacking menace in the city. According to Illinois state laws, you can attract charges ranging from 3 to 15 years for carjacking.
If the stolen vehicle is valued at over $10,000, you will incur a serious felony sentence. Use of deception or threatening with weapons further increases the prison time and charges. The common charges you face for a carjacking crime include community service, suspension of your driver’s license, hefty fines, prison term, and probation.
Perhaps what will impact a carjacker the most is the permanent record of criminal activity. This will make it difficult for a defendant to gain certain certifications, study in academic programs, or get a license. He or she may also lose good employment opportunities.
The sentence increases in severity when the prosecution is able to prove that you used a firearm or weapon for the carjacking. This is because public safety is in danger here. Stricter laws are being planned in this regard, as well. If the victim is under 15 years of age, disabled, or elderly, you face similarly stiff penalties.
How Legal Assistance can Provide Relief
A charge of carjacking is a very serious one now in Chicago. If you are an offender, it is vital for you to get legal help immediately. You can incur charges only when you are driving a stolen vehicle and you know it is a stolen vehicle. This is the reason many thefts are not punished more severely. Instead, mere misdemeanor charges are placed on the suspect.
By approaching an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Chicago, you can prevent serious charges and penalties. The law offices of David L. Freidberg have the experience required to defend clients against charges like carjacking, including aggravated theft. Lack of knowledge regarding your rights can work against you. With the help of a reputed attorney, you can get the proper assistance you need.
With vehicular hijacking, you can get into deep trouble. With the local police and FBI watching closely, it helps to have the best legal aid if you are charged with this crime. Contact the law offices of David Freidberg at 312-560-7100 for expert legal advice. You are sure to receive the guidance and help you need to prevent severe and debilitating charges.