What is Carjacking in California? (Penal Code 215)
Penal Code Section 215 defines Carjacking as the forcible taking of a motor vehicle from another person. The crime is more serious than theft because it requires the taking of the car using violence, force, or fear. It is more than a theft and more than Grand Theft Auto because it has the element of force or threat included. It is a type of robbery which the California Legislature considers inherently highly dangerous.
Carjacking is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for a term of three, five, or nine years. The use of a deadly weapon to accomplish the carjacking can increase to a state prison term of to 12 years. If the crime leads to great bodily injury to the victim, the high term goes to 15 years.