Jackson Announces New “Carjacking Task Force”

Authorities in Jackson are attempting to crack down on carjackings with a new task force. With this new development, it is likely that more suspects will be apprehended by police and charged with felonies. If you are facing carjacking charges in Mississippi, it is important to review potential defense strategies alongside a carjacking defense lawyer in Jackson. With help from legal professionals, you can push back against excessive penalties. 

Department of Justice Announced New Carjacking Task Force in Jackson

In April of 2024, the Mississippi Department of Justice announced the formation of an official “carjacking task force” in the Jackson metro area. US Attorney Todd Gee explained:

“The threat of being carjacked creates fear in people’s daily lives, whether in their driveway or when loading groceries at the store. The Department of Justice will work together with federal, state, and local law enforcement in the Jackson metro area to leverage all of our resources to investigate and prosecute carjackings.”

ATF special agents will play an important role in this task force alongside the Jackson Police Department and the Capitol Police. The FBI is also reportedly involved. Representatives from all of these departments and agencies have made official statements, supporting this initiative and vowing to crack down on carjackers. 

These agencies and departments will share information to pursue suspects, who often slip away from Jackson Police officers after being chased through the metro area. In theory, it will become more challenging to escape from the authorities after committing a carjacking in Jackson. 

After being caught, the task force will also attempt to ensure you experience more serious penalties. The Department of Justice warns that any adult who “uses” juveniles to carry out carjackings will face “federal sentencing enhancements.” 

“We’re Trying to Send You to Federal Prison”

After the announcement of the task force, various representatives reminded the public that even first-time offenders now face prison sentences for carjacking offenses. One ATF Special Agent stated: 

“Carjacking is not only a deadly dangerous crime, it is a serious federal offense, carrying lengthy federal prison sentences, even for first-time offenders.”

Chief Wade of the Jackson Police added:

“We’re not just trying to send you out to the Raymond Detention Center, we’re trying to send you to federal prison.” 

You Already Face Serious Penalties for Carjacking in Mississippi

For years, Mississippi has been aware of a serious carjacking problem in the State. While Jackson’s new carjacking task force highlights this issue, lawmakers and authorities have already established stricter penalties than we have seen in the past. 

Also known as the “Carjacking Act,” Senate Bill 2101 made carjacking an official crime in the Magnolia State for the first time. Prior to the passing of this bill, there were no specific laws against carjacking. Instead, normal theft or robbery laws were applied. 

As long as you take a car from someone’s “immediate actual possession,” you face felony charges. In other words, carjacking laws apply when you take an occupied vehicle. You might also face these charges if you take the vehicle from someone standing nearby. For example, they might be loading groceries or pumping gas. 

Even if you “attempt” a carjacking and fail to take the vehicle, you still face a felony in Mississippi. For example, you might have been shot and wounded by a motorist after attempting to carjack someone. You may still face a felony carjacking charge in this situation. 

The mandatory minimum sentence for carjacking is five years in prison – even for a first offense. You may also face a maximum sentence of up to 15 years and a fine of up to $5,000. 

As serious as these penalties might seem, many carjackers face even stricter consequences. Numerous carjackers carry deadly weapons while committing their crimes. These include firearms, knives, brass knuckles, clubs, and even “imitation weapons.”

If you used any of these weapons during the alleged carjacking, you face the higher offense of “armed carjacking.” The penalty for this offense is up to 30 years in prison – and a mandatory minimum of 10 years. You also face a fine of up to $10,000. Subsequent carjacking offenses can double your prison sentences and your fines. 

Work With an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

With this new task force in action, it is more important than ever to work with a qualified criminal defense lawyer in Mississippi. Work with Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. Carjackers in Jackson can now expect far less leniency from both law enforcement and criminal courts. But despite vows made by JPD officials, excessive penalties are not guaranteed. You can still defend yourself effectively – so reach out today to discuss a defense strategy.

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