Auto Thefts and Carjackings on the Rise

Motor vehicle thefts across 30 major cities have increased by 59% from 2019 to 2022, according to the statistics released by the Council on Criminal Justice earlier this year. CBS News reported that according to a criminologist, Dr. Richard Rosenfeld, “motor vehicle thefts had been plummeting” for decades and were on their way down, due largely in part to the fact newer technology made stealing a car more difficult. However, Dr. Rosenfeld disclosed that the downward trend quickly began reversing “right at the start” of the pandemic, and “has persisted through the end of 2022 with no sign of letting up.” 

According to the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, motor vehicle theft is the third most common property crime in the United States. Data from the city of Chicago indicates that most citywide carjackers are young adults, but that carjackings by juveniles has more than doubled, from 18% to 41%, between 2016 and 2021. Additionally, the National Insurance Crime Bureau reported that there were more than 936,000 vehicle thefts in 2021, a 27% increase since 2019. Crime analysts like Dr. Rosenberg stress that “recent increases in property crime and carjacking require immediate action from law enforcement and policy makers.”

How Does Mississippi Define Carjacking?

Under Mississippi law, any person who knowingly or recklessly by force or violence, whether against resistance or by sudden seizure or snatching, or by putting in fear, or attempting to do so, or by any other means takes a motor vehicle from another person’s immediate possession is considered to be guilty of carjacking. 

Additionally, any person who commits the offense of carjacking while armed with or having readily any pistol, other firearm, imitation thereof or a dangerous or deadly weapon is considered to be guilty of armed carjacking. 

What Happens if Convicted of Carjacking?

If convicted of carjacking in Mississippi, the individual can face a prison sentence of up to fifteen (15) years as well as a fine of up to $5,000. Importantly, an individual convicted of attempted carjacking faces the same punishment as an individual who is convicted of carjacking.

If convicted of armed carjacking in Mississippi, the individual can face a prison sentence of up to thirty (30) years as well as a fine of up to $10,000. An individual who is convicted of attempted armed carjacking receives the same punishment as an individual convicted of armed carjacking. 

Additionally, any person who is convicted of a second or subsequent offence of carjacking or armed carjacking will be fined an amount up to twice what is mentioned above and imprisoned for a term up to twice the amount mentioned above. 

Finding an Attorney

If you have been searching the Mississippi area for a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney, look no further than Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. Over the years, we have helped numerous offenders pursue favorable outcomes. Although being accused of a crime like carjacking is not a pleasant experience, there are many potential defense strategies that can be used to defend and reduce the charges against an offender. Call us today at (601) 948-4444 for your free consultation to learn more.

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