Readers of this criminal defense blog know that the penalties for various theft offenses are often escalated when there are weapons involved. A recent story illustrates a rationale for this approach.
According to reports, a Newark couple returned to their car, only to find it in the midst of a carjacking. Unfortunately, at least one of the alleged carjacker had a gun, which he resorted to using when the married couple surprised him in the midst of the heist. The shooting resulted in a fatal head injury to the husband, even though he received medical treatment just a few minutes after being shot.
The incident has prompted both civil and criminal litigation. A criminal defense attorney knows that such an outcome is not rare when an alleged wrongful death or other personal injuries are involved. On the civil side, the widow has filed a wrongful death suit, alleging that the New Jersey mall maintained inadequate security protocols. On the criminal side, the alleged carjackers implicated in the incident have been charged with various felonies, including murder, carjacking, conspiracy, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
As those criminal charges reflect, an accused that is alleged to have used a weapon while committing a crime can face aggravated criminal charges and/or additional gun charges. In many instances, mandatory sentencing may also accompany those aggravated charges. At the felony time, the consequences of a conviction may include jail time, fines, and/or losing the constitutional right to bear arms. Needless to say, having a strong criminal defense attorney is essential to preserving the rights and building a strong defense for anyone facing such charges.