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If you have been charged with Carjacking, here is some information to know and consider in seeking legal advice with Emma Turnbull Lawyers.

Elements of the offence

For the prosecution to prove the offence of Carjacking, they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt all of the elements of the offence which are set out in s 79 of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) and are as follows:

  1. The accused stole a vehicle (refer to the offence of Theft for an explanation of that offence); and
  2. At the time or immediately before the theft the accused
    1. Used force on a person; or
    2. Put a person in fear that they or another person would, then and there, be subject to the use of force; or
    3. Sought to put a person in fear that they or another person would, then and there, be subject to the use of force, and
  3. The accused did so in order to commit the theft.

Will I have to go to court?

Charges for Carjacking can be dealt with summarily in the Magistrates’ Court. However, depending on the circumstances of the offence and any other charges laid, the case may be heard in a higher court.  Expert legal advice is important in ensuring the most appropriate defence to a charge of Carjacking.

Once the case goes to court, it is up to the prosecution to prove all the elements of the offence. It is important that you seek expert legal advice to prepare a defence and to represent you in court as this offence carries a significant maximum sentence of imprisonment.

Maximum penalty:

The maximum penalty this offence carries is 2 years imprisonment if it is dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court, but 15 years imprisonment if dealt with in the County or Supreme Court.

What sentences are usually given?

Between 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2021, 24 people were sentenced for Carjacking in the higher courts. In every case the accused was sentenced to imprisonment, with median sentence 4 years imprisonment.

Between 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2021 the Magistrates Court 62 people were sentenced for Carjacking and imprisonment was imposed in 69% of cases, and a community corrections order in 19% of cases.

What do I do now?

To ensure the best chance of a successful defence, it is important to get in contact with an expert criminal lawyer as soon as possible. At Emma Turnbull Lawyers, we have experienced criminal defence lawyers who can assist you in defending this charge.

Contact our office today to speak to an accredited criminal law specialist, on (03) 9077 4834 or at