A man was shot in the leg during a carjacking in West Palm Beach at the end of September. He was taken to the hospital and his car was later found abandoned. Gene Kish suffered non-life threatening injuries after his pick-up truck, a 2003 GMC, was stolen. The carjacking occurred a little after five in the evening on Okeechobee Boulevard. There has not been an arrest in this case yet.
Business Owners Worried
Many West Palm Beach business owners are worried about this brazen daylight carjacking as well as other crimes that have recently been plaguing the area. A local business owner, Scott Schlein of Interstate 710 Vapes, says that his business was robbed twice in two months. He worries that the crime in the area will keep people away from shopping there and therefore hurt his business. The area also has many luxury car dealerships. Schlein is calling for more police monitoring and surveillance of the area in an attempt to reduce both petty and violent crimes.
While there has so far been no one charged in this case, carjacking is a very serious crime in Florida. Carjacking is a kind of larceny where one person uses violence or the threat of violence to take a motor vehicle from someone and intends to temporarily or permanently keep the vehicle and not return it to the owner. Penalties are dependent on whether the perpetrator had a weapon or firearm.
If the defendant carried a deadly weapon or firearm during the carjacking, then the crime is a first-degree felony and a conviction can carry with it a term of up to life imprisonment, and a mandatory minimum sentence of four years’ imprisonment. If the carjacker did not carry a firearm or deadly weapon then the crime is still a first-degree felony, but the mandatory minimum is 21 months and a defendant can be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison. Additional penalties include up to 30 years’ probation and up to $10,000 in fines.
Additionally, if the prosecution proves that the defendant was in possession of a firearm during the carjacking, he or she is eligible to be charged under the “10/20/Life” statute. This statute gives enhanced penalties for crimes that are committed with firearms involved. If the defendant was in possession of a firearm while the crime was committed there is a mandatory minimum of at least 10 years’ prison sentence. If the firearm was discharged during the commission of the crime, then the defendant will be mandatorily sentenced to a minimum of at least 20 years in prison. Finally, if as in the example above, someone is injured or killed by a firearm then there must be a prison sentence of at least 25 years imposed.
Reach Out to Us for Help Today
If you are arrested and charged with carjacking or another violent crime, you should contact a knowledgeable violent crimes attorney as soon as possible. Our experienced violent crimes defense attorneys at The Skier Law Firm, P.A. in West Palm Beach, Florida, can help to defend you against any criminal charges.