There has been some recent cases that have come down that have dealt with the car jacking issue in California. Often in carjacking cases you might be able to avoid life sentences.
Any person who, during the commission of a carjacking and in order to facilitate the commission of the carjacking, kidnaps another person who is not a principal in the commission of the carjacking shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life with the possibility of parole. Thus the consequences of carjacking while doing it with a person involved can be catastrophic to the perpetrator.
When dealing with whether a person is guilty of kidnapping the Court must look to the movement of the person whom is being seized. It shall only apply if the movement of the victim is beyond that merely incidental to the commission of the carjacking, the victim is moved a substantial distance from the vicinity of the carjacking, and the movement of the victim increases the risk of harm to the victim over and above that necessarily present in the crime of carjacking itself.
“Carjacking” is the felonious taking of a motor vehicle in the possession of another, from his or her person or immediate presence, or from the person or immediate presence of a passenger of the motor vehicle, against his or her will and with the intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person in possession of the motor vehicle of his or her possession, accomplished by means of force or fear.”
Carjacking is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for a term of three, five, or nine years.
Thus a person must basically take the car or automobile from another person without their consent. A defense to the carjacking is whether there was a specific intent to do the crime. There are several cases which are holding that there was no specific intent to take the car from the other person.