Virginia Police Investigate Armed Carjacking In Loudoun County
Virginia police are currently investigating a felony carjacking offense that occurred in Sterling, according to an article by the Loudoun Times-Mirror.
This incident occurred on Sunday, April 18. At approximately 1:30 a.m., in the 21800 block of Towncenter Plaza, two suspects allegedly drove an SUV into the parking lot and approached two male victims — one a minor and the other an adult.
The suspects allegedly presented a firearm and demanded that the adult victim produce their personal effects. The suspects then allegedly struck the minor victim, took possession of the victims’ passenger vehicle, and fled the scene.
As a result of this incident, the minor victim sustained minor injuries but refused medical treatment. While the police continue to investigate this criminal offense, it seems like an ideal opportunity to review Virginia laws addressing robbery and carjacking.
Robbery Laws & Penalties in Virginia
Code of Virginia Section 18.2-58 establishes the state laws against and penalties for robbery. This section prohibits any person from committing theft by:
- Partially strangling the victim;
- Suffocating the victim;
- Striking, beating, or committing other forms of violence against the victim;
- Committing assault against the victim or otherwise placing the victim in fear of serious bodily harm; or
- Threatening the victim with or otherwise presenting firearms or similar deadly weapons.
The Virginia penalties for robbery also appear under Section 18.2-58. Under this section, robbery is a felony crime in Virginia. If there is a conviction, the punishment can include a prison sentence of five years to life.
Carjacking Laws & Penalties in Virginia
Code of Virginia Section 18.2-58.1 establishes the state laws against and penalties for carjacking. This section prohibits any person from committing a robbery offense that also involves the:
- Intentional seizure or seizure of control of a victim’s motor vehicle; and
- Intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the victim of possession or control of the motor vehicle in question.
The Virginia penalties for carjacking also appear under Section 18.2-58.1. Under this section, carjacking is a felony crime in Virginia. If there is a conviction, the punishment can include a prison sentence of 15 years to life.
In this context, it is important to note that Virginia law applies a specific definition to the term “motor vehicle.” Under Code of Virginia Section 46.2-100, the term motor vehicle refers to any vehicle that is self-propelled or designed for self-propulsion. Structures that are affixed to motor vehicles — such as trailers — are considered part of the motor vehicle in question.
Under Section 46.2-100, the following vehicles are not considered motor vehicles in Virginia:
- Electric personal assistive mobility devices;
- Electric power-assisted bicycles;
- Motorized skateboards or scooters;
- Mopeds; or
- Personal delivery devices.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you need legal assistance with charges for robbery or carjacking in Virginia, reach out to us today. The Leesburg criminal lawyers at Simms Showers LLP can quickly begin working on your case.