the State Bar of California
the San Diego Union-Tribune
The Press-Enterprise


The crime of “carjacking” is closely related to that of “robbery” in terms of the elements that must be proven by the prosecution beyond a reasonable doubt to be convicted of the offense. In California, the crime of “carjacking” is prosecuted under Penal Code section 215. “Carjacking” is broadly defined as taking a vehicle from another person by means of force or fear.

In California, carjacking is always charged as a felony offense and is quite serious. The punishment for a carjacking conviction carries up to nine years of custody in state prison. The penalties can be even greater in cases where someone was injured as a result of or during the commission of the crime, when a weapon or firearm was used during the offense, and in some instances, where carjacking is charged in conjunction with other related crimes.

It is important to note that a felony conviction for a violation of Penal Code section 215 also qualifies as a strike offense pursuant to California’s Three Strikes Law. As such, a felony conviction for carjacking could have the collateral consequence of doubling the sentence for any felony convictions that may occur in the future. This is true even if probation is granted, a petition is later filed to have the underlying carjacking conviction expunged pursuant to Penal Code section 1203.4, et seq., and that request is granted by the court. Carjacking is a strike offense, so even if it is later expunged, it will still count as a strike for purposes of enhanced punishment in the future.

At the Law Office of Julie Ann Baldwin, APC, we understand that mistakes happen, and we firmly believe everyone is entitled to vigorous, competent and compassionate legal representation. We also understand that the criminal process can be daunting and confusing. In many cases, there are often huge discrepancies between what people think the law is, what they think the law should be, and the reality of what the law truly is. That’s why we are committed to keeping you fully informed throughout the legal process as we work to strategically develop and prepare your defense, with a keen eye toward achieving the most favorable outcome possible for you.

Remember that the legal issues relevant to your case are best identified and addressed early on by a qualified Murrieta defense lawyer. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your case, it is imperative that you act swiftly and smartly by hiring an experienced, local attorney who is familiar with the rules, common practices and procedures, and individual prosecutors and judges in the jurisdiction where you are facing criminal charges. As a former prosecutor at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta, California for the better part of fifteen years, Ms. Baldwin has worked hard to establish her reputation as a trusted, knowledgeable and effective advocate and looks forward to the privilege of putting her skills and experience to work of you.

If you have already been charged or anticipate being charged with carjacking in the Murrieta area, contact your Murrieta criminal defense lawyer at the Law Office of Julie Ann Baldwin, APC for your free, confidential case consultation now. Your future and your freedom deserve to be taken seriously by an experienced attorney who is committed to quality representation and compassionate advocacy, every step of the way.

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"In May of 2021, I was arrested for a domestic related crime and immediately contacted criminal defense attorney, Julie Baldwin, for help. Julie reviewed every aspect of my case and developed an aggressive defense strategy. Her years of experience as a deputy district attorney and assertiveness gave me confidence in facing my charge which was ultimately dismissed by the district attorney's office. I highly recommend Julie Baldwin to anyone facing criminal charges and in need of legal assistance." WC
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