Philadelphia Robbery of a Motor Vehicle Lawyer 

14 (1).jpg

Carjacking is a particularly serious form of robbery. In Pennsylvania, the statute which prohibits carjacking is the Robbery of a Motor Vehicle statute. The Commonwealth will charge Robbery of a Motor Vehicle when the defendant is alleged to have stolen or taken a motor vehicle from someone else without permission when the motor vehicle is in the presence of the person. Essentially, it requires the defendant to steal a motor vehicle and for the owner or rightful possessor of the car to be present. 

Is Robbery of a Motor Vehicle a felony? 

Robbery of a Motor Vehicle is always a felony of the first degree, making it a particularly serious charge. First degree felonies are punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Robbery of a Motor Vehicle is also a crime of violence under Pennsylvania's Three Strikes law. If the defendant has previously been convicted of certain crimes of violence, Robbery of a Motor Vehicle could carry a mandatory minimum of 10-20 years of incarceration for a second strike and 25-life for a third strike. Even without priors, the sentencing guidelines suggest jail time for carjacking. 

Defenses to Robbery and Robbery of a Motor Vehicle (Carjacking)

Although Robbery of a Motor Vehicle is a very serious charge, there are often defenses. Many of the same defenses that apply to an ordinary Robbery will also be applicable in a Robbery of a Motor Vehicle case.

  • For example, Robbery of a Motor Vehicle cases often start out with the defendant getting pulled over by police because the police ran the license plate of the vehicle the defendant was in and determined that the vehicle had been reported stolen in a carjacking. However, just because the defendant was found driving the vehicle some time later does not mean that the defendant was also the person who committed the Robbery.

  • Robbery of a Motor Vehicle frequently raises issues surrounding the identification of the robber. In many cases, it may be possible to challenge an eyewitness identification through the use of a motion for a lineup, based on differences in the description given and the physical characteristics of the defendant arrested, or even through the use of expert testimony on the many problems inherent in eyewitness identifications.

Given the seriousness of the offense and the real potential for incarceration, it is critical that anyone charged with Robbery of a Motor Vehicle or any type of Robbery in Philadelphia or the surrounding counties contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. 

Goldstein Mehta LLC Robbery Lawyers

Goldstein Mehta LLC Robbery Lawyers


The Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyers of Goldstein Mehta LLC have extensive experience and a proven track record of success in defending Robbery of a Motor Vehicle and other related charges. If you need a lawyer for carjacking or Robbery of a Motor vehicle charges, you should contact us immediately. We have won motions for lineups, pre-trial motions to suppress identification and physical evidence, obtained dismissals at preliminary hearings, and successfully convinced judges and juries of the defendant's innocence by pointing out inaccuracies in the eyewitness' or complainant's testimony. If you are facing carjacking charges, we need to start working on your case right away. Valuable evidence such as surveillance video footage or the emergency police radio tapes could be destroyed due to delay. Start planning your defense today. Call 267-225-2545 for a complimentary 15-minute criminal defense strategy session.  

The Robbery of a Motor Vehicle Statute

§ 3702.  Robbery of motor vehicle.
(a)  Offense defined.--A person commits a felony of the first degree if he steals or takes a motor vehicle from another person in the presence of that person or any other person in lawful possession of the motor vehicle.
(b)  Sentencing.--The Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing, pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. § 2154 (relating to adoption of guidelines for sentencing), shall provide for a sentencing enhancement for an offense under this section.


Name *