In New York, carjacking is a crime that can be prosecuted under state law. It may also be prosecuted as a federal offense if certain circumstances apply. People who are charged with carjacking under federal law may face substantial penalties if they are convicted of the offense.
Carjacking is codified at 18 U.S.C. § 2119. Under this federal law, people may be found to be guilty of carjacking if they take vehicles that have been shipped, transported or received via interstate transport from others while the defendants have the intent to cause serious bodily harm or to cause the death of the victims.
The current statute was modified to define the taking as one that is completed with intimidation or force from the victim. While the original version of the law required the use of a weapon, the current form does not. It is also important to note that the federal statute does not require that the defendant take the vehicle across state lines. Because the vehicles were shipped through the interstate transport system, they qualify. Attempted carjackings also qualify under the statute.
People who are convicted of federal carjacking offenses may face 15 years of prison and fines if the offense does not result in serious bodily harm. If serious bodily injuries occur, the defendants may face up to 25 years in prison and fines. If the victims are killed, the defendants may face up to life in prison or be sentenced to death. People who are facing serious charges might want to get help from criminal defense lawyers who are experienced in defending against federal crimes cases. The lawyers may negotiate with the U.S. attorneys in an effort to secure pleas to lesser offenses or to capped sentences. In some cases, experienced lawyers may win dismissal of the charges.