Criminal Carjacking Penalties May Increase

A bill proposed in the Wisconsin Senate looks to increase penalties for carjacking in Wisconsin.  Legislators have said that they proposed the bill because of the increased rate and brazenness of carjackings in Milwaukee.  This post will explore the current law and look at how the new law would increase the penalties.  Criminal defense attorney Benjamin T. Van Severen explains:

Current Carjacking Law

Section 943.23 deals with various crimes of operating a vehicle without owner’s consent.  Simply driving a vehicle without owner’s consent is a Class I felony.  Actually taking and driving a vehicle without owner’s consent – a “carjacking” – is a Class H felony.  And anyone who commits a carjacking while in possession of a dangerous weapon and uses or threatens the use of force to achieve the taking of the vehicle is guilty of a Class C felony.  The currently penalties are serious, but the new proposals are even stronger:

New Carjacking Proposal

The legislature proposes to create a new crime of committing a carjacking while using or threatening the use of force to take a vehicle without owner’s consent.  This would accomplish the goal of having a crime between simply taking a vehicle without consent and taking a vehicle while using a dangerous weapon.  Now, the offender would only have to use force, but not possess a dangerous weapon, to be guilty of this new offense.  The offender would be guilty of a Class E level felony.

The legislature would also increase the penalties for repeat carjackers.  For 2nd or subsequent offenses of taking and driving away a vehicle without owner’s consent, the person would be subject to a Class F felony.  For 2nd or subsequent offense of driving or operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent, the person would be subject to a Class G felony.

Charged with Carjacking?  Contact a Milwaukee Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or someone you know is charged with carjacking or stealing a car, you need competent and aggressive defense lawyers on your side.  Judges are coming down harder and harder on offenders who are caught stealing cars.  And with this proposal, the penalties are only becoming stiffer.  Call one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys today to schedule a free consultation regarding your carjacking offense!  Defense lawyers Ben Van Severen or Matt Meyer can be reached at (414) 270-0202.