West Palm Beach Carjacking Attorney David W. Olson
Carjacking is a serious offense in which the victim’s vehicle is stolen by force, violence or by putting the victim in fear. If a deadly weapon is involved, a conviction can potentially result in a life sentence. If you were arrested for carjacking it is crucial to retain legal representation from a highly experienced criminal defense attorney who will effectively pursue the most favorable outcome possible.
For more than 30 years, Attorney David W. Olson has represented thousands of clients charged with serious felonies and misdemeanors, including carjacking, auto theft, grand theft, petit theft, dealing in stolen property, robbery, burglary, drug charges, DUI, juvenile matters, driving offenses, sex crimes, computer crimes and all other offenses. Attorney Olson offers a free consultation.
Florida’s Carjacking Statute – Sec. 812.133
(1) “Carjacking” means the taking of a motor vehicle which may be the subject of larceny from the person or custody of another, with intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person or the owner of the motor vehicle, when in the course of the taking there is the use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear.
(2)(a) If in the course of committing the carjacking the offender carried a firearm or other deadly weapon, then the carjacking is a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life imprisonment or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(b) If in the course of committing the carjacking the offender carried no firearm, deadly weapon, or other weapon, then the carjacking is a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s.775.084.
(3)(a) An act shall be deemed “in the course of committing the carjacking” if it occurs in an attempt to commit carjacking or in flight after the attempt or commission.
(b) An act shall be deemed “in the course of the taking” if it occurs either prior to, contemporaneous with, or subsequent to the taking of the property and if it and the act of taking constitute a continuous series of acts or events.
The Burden is on the State to Prove Carjacking
When an individual is charged with carjacking, there are three elements the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt to make its case:
- The defendant took the vehicle from the person or the custody of the victim.
- That force, fear, violence or putting the victim in fear was used in the course of the taking.
- The taking was with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the victim of the vehicle. (Adapted from Florida Standard Jury Instructions 15.2)
An Arrest is Not a Conviction
As in all other cases, just because an individual is arrested and charged with committing a crime, it does not mean that the defendant actually committed the alleged offense. An arrest is not a conviction. A charge does not mean that the defendant is guilty. We remind readers of this because some do not understand that an arrest is simply an allegation that the offense was committed. The State must prove all three elements to make its case. If all the elements cannot be proven, the carjacking charge must be dismissed. Your attorney will explain this to you in greater depth.
What is the Difference Between Auto Theft and Carjacking?
The primary difference between carjacking and auto theft is that in a carjacking, the vehicle is stolen directly from the owner or custodian of the vehicle by force, violence, assault or “putting in fear.” In an auto theft, the vehicle does not have to be “jacked” directly from an individual
Under Chapter 777, Florida Statutes, an individual can be charged with other offenses depending on the specific circumstances and the defendant’s involvement. These may include:
- Criminal attempt
If you were charged with one or more of these offenses, or other offenses, it is advisable to discuss this with your attorney immediately, for the consequences of a conviction are serious.
Penalties for Carjacking
If the accused carried a firearm or other deadly weapon during the course of committing the carjacking, the punishment may potentially be more severe than if a weapon was not carried. The words “course of committing the carjacking” includes during the actual act or fleeing after the act.
- With a firearm or deadly weapon – first degree felony, up to life in prison and $10,000 fine.
- Without a firearm or deadly weapon – first degree felony, up to 30 years in prison and $10,000 fine.
Attorney David Olson – Professional Awards
- Attorney Olson has received numerous professional awards, including the following:
- “Nation’s Top One Percent” – National Association of Distinguished Counsel
- “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” – National Trial Lawyers
- “AV Preeminent Rating” – This is a peer rating by lawyers and the judiciary, awarded to only the top 5% of attorneys in the country, for legal ability and high ethical standards
On our website there are numerous client endorsements. Here are a few extracts:
- “I’ve personally had David represent me and have referred him to many of my colleagues that have all subsequently raved about his honesty and integrity.”
- “When I was arrested for cannabis cultivation David was there for me. He took a case that could have cost me years in prison, and made it so I spent no time in jail at all…”
- “I hired Mr. Olson from a recommendation by a family member. He was immediately behind my situation and put me completely at ease. There were no false promises, very up front as far as expectations and outcomes. His assistant, Jessica, was a joy to work with as well. They came to my house, interviewed witnesses, went above and beyond and always respond to my calls. I totally endorse this attorney.”
West Palm Beach Carjacking and Criminal Defense Attorney David W. Olson
Attorney David W. Olson is a highly experienced criminal defense lawyer with a proven record of accomplishment. For more than three decades, Attorney Olson has vigorously defended clients charged with a wide variety of felonies and misdemeanors. In many cases Attorney Olson has been able to get charges dismissed, particularly for first time offenders.
Attorney Olson will always pursue the most favorable outcome for his clients, including dismissals. There are numerous options available, depending on the specific case. When appropriate, they may include pretrial diversion and intervention programs, counseling, treatment and educational programs, probation, withholding adjudication, reduction of charges, favorable plea negotiations and more. It is advisable to discuss your case with Attorney Olson to explore your options. In those cases that go to trial, Attorney Olson is an experienced and skillful courtroom litigator.
For a free, no-obligation case review, call The Law Offices of David W. Olson at 561-833-8866.
Carjacking, Sec. 812.133, Fla. Stat. (2015) Carjacking Elements – Adapted from Florida Standard Jury Instructions 15.2, www.floridasupremecourt.org/dec