Kidnapping is a serious criminal act in the state of California. Kidnapping occurs anytime someone is moved against their will with the use of force or fear. However, some forms of kidnapping are more serious than others. These instances are considered aggravated kidnapping.
CA Penal Code Section 209.5: Kidnapping During Carjacking is an example of an aggravated kidnapping charge. Get the facts about aggravated kidnapping in general and PC 209.5 violations specifically right here with the Simmrin Law Group.
Understanding Aggravated Kidnapping in California
Basic kidnapping charges in California are prosecuted under California Penal Code Section 207. Individuals may be charged with basic kidnapping anytime they:
- Move Someone a Considerable Distance
- Against the Person’s Will
- Using Force or Fear
Aggravated kidnapping accusations apply only in specific situations and lead to harsher penalties if an individual is convicted. The court can use aggravated kidnapping charges for kidnappings that:
- Begin with a Carjacking
- Are Focused on Rewards or Ransoms
- Lead to Sex Crimes, Great Bodily Harm, or Death
Let’s go over the specifics of kidnapping during carjacking.
Legally Defining PC 209.5
PC 209.5 deals only with the charges for kidnapping during carjacking. In order to face criminal charges under PC 209.5, an individual must:
- Carjack Another Person
- Use Force or Fear to Move the Person Who Was Carjacked
- Substantially Move the Person from the Carjacking Site
Additionally, moving the victim must increase the risk they would otherwise experience during a carjacking for PC 209.5 charges to apply.
Note that – for the purposes of kidnapping during carjacking charges – the use of force or fear has a strict legal definition. Individuals must use or threaten physical violence in order to utilize force or fear during a kidnapping attempt.
Kidnapping During Carjacking Examples
Man A decides to steal a car. He waits in a parking garage until a woman pulls in and parks. When she opens the door, he surprises her and forces her across the seat. After getting a look at her, he decides he’d like to take her along, even though she is trying to get out of the vehicle. He threatens her to make her sit still and leaves the garage. He could be convicted of kidnapping during carjacking.
Man B surprises a woman with a child as she’s finishing loading her groceries. He plans to steal her vehicle and the child. She manages to knock him back and scrambles into her vehicle, closing and locking the door. He did not succeed in carjacking or kidnapping, so he would not be prosecuted under PC 209.5. However, he could face charges for attempted carjacking or kidnapping.
Results of a Kidnapping During Carjacking Conviction
Kidnapping during carjacking can be harshly penalized in the California court system. PC 209.5 is a violent felony offense. Individuals convicted under PC 209.5 can be sentenced to life in prison.
Individuals have the option for parole after a PC 209.5 conviction, but the parole process can be complicated because kidnapping during carjacking will put a “strike” on an individual’s record. This means that an individual has to complete the majority of their prison sentence before becoming eligible for a parole hearing.
The court can also hand down additional penalties in certain cases. For example, the results of a conviction may be harsher if:
- The Kidnapped Victim Experiences a Great Bodily Injury
- The Kidnapping Was Connected to Gang Activity
- The Kidnapping Involved the Use or Presence of a Gun
Defenses for Kidnapping During Carjacking Charges
A kidnapping during carjacking charge does not have to immediately lead to a conviction. Individuals in California can build a defense to PC 209.5 accusations by contacting a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer. You can work with a team of legal professionals that may be able to demonstrate that:
You Didn’t Carjack the Victim
Carjacking occurs if you take another person’s car against their will. If the alleged victim gave you permission to operate their vehicle then you should not face a conviction for kidnapping during carjacking.
The Alleged Victim Agreed to Go with You
You can only kidnap someone if you use force or fear to make them go somewhere they don’t consent to go. If the alleged victim didn’t refuse consent for their movement, you may be able to avoid a conviction under PC 209.5.
Call a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Los Angeles Immediately
You have legal options if you are charged under CA Penal Code Section 209.5: Kidnapping During Carjacking. The professionals at the Simmrin Law Group can start working on your case today with a FREE case evaluation.
Start focusing on your future with our criminal defense lawyers. Call us at (310) 997-4688, or fill out our online contact form.