Virginia Carjacking Defense

Carjacking, a felony is Virginia, is punishable by 15 years in prison. The prosecutor must prove that the person used force or threat to remove a driver from a vehicle they were operating, and take that car away from the driver with the intention of permanently depriving them of that vehicle.

However, some of that time might be suspended by the court if a Virginia carjacking defense attorney used relevant evidence for mitigation and proved perhaps there was an extenuating circumstance that led to the carjacking. When building a defense for carjacking charges in Virginia, it is important to have the assistance of an experienced lawyer.

Defense Strategies

The first thing necessary in a defense is to determine whether or not the police have correctly identified the perpetrator. Oftentimes, the only evidence that the police are going to have that reveals the identity of the perpetrator is the alleged victim’s eye witness testimony. Eye witness testimony has been proven to be unreliable. The identification of the perpetrator could be considered a weak link to the government’s case depending on the way that the government determines who the perpetrator might have been, especially if it is based on an eye witness account by the alleged victim. An experienced defense attorney in a Virginia carjacking defense will determine the identification of the perpetrator first and foremost, and how it was ascertained.

Initial Steps

An important step any felony case is to look at the government’s evidence to determine if there are any holes in the case. The government might have a problem with the identification, it might have a problem with a search or a seizure, it might a problem with the defendant’s statement if the defendant was not properly Mirandized.

A Virginia carjacking lawyer needs to review every single step of the government’s investigation to determine whether or not there are any mishaps in the government’s case how best to exploit those mishaps.

Gathering Evidence

An experienced defense attorney will need the government’s evidence to determine whether or not they can turn it to the defendant’s advantage, or at least prevent it from being admissible in court. There are a number of different ways that defense attorneys can do that, and it also depends on the kind of evidence which was collected. Knowing the evidence involved in the case will improve the Virginia carjacking defense attorney’s ability to prepare.

Experts

In a Virginia carjacking case, the government might have fingerprint evidence or DNA evidence that points to the defendant. The defense will want to employ an expert to review the government’s evidence and challenge the evidence. If the government does have fingerprint or DNA evidence, the Virginia carjacking defense attorney will certainly need to use an expert to determine whether or not the government’s decision is correct.

Role of a Criminal Lawyer

An experienced defense attorney needs to challenge the legal and factual aspects of the carjacking case. At the same time, the defense would have the defendant prepare as much mitigation evidence as possible. If the Virginia carjacking defense attorney does their due diligence, they might be able to plea negotiations. The defense attorney would prepare both for trial and for possible plea negotiations at the same time.

Carjacking charges are a life altering event, even if the person is not guilty. A strong Virginia carjacking defense lawyer could provide emotional and legal assurance for a person in such a situation.