The Difference Between Carjacking and Auto Theft in California

The Difference Between Carjacking and Auto Theft in California

The Difference Between Carjacking and Auto Theft in California

On the surface, carjacking and grand theft auto might seem like very similar crimes, but the State of California disagrees.

What is Carjacking

The State of California addressed the topic of carjacking in California Penal Code Section 215. If you decide to take a car that is currently being operated or is in the possession of another person without that person’s permission, you can be charged with carjacking.

In a carjacking case, prosecutors face an uphill battle. In order to convict you of carjacking, the prosecution has to prove:

✦ The owner was quite close to the car when you drove away in it
✦ That you used either force or fear to gain possession of the car
✦ You fully intended to keep the owner from the vehicle on either a permanent or temporary basis

The punishment for being fo...