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A person who in the course of committing a larceny of a motor vehicle uses force or violence or the threat of force or violence, or who puts in fear any operator, passenger, or person in lawful possession of the motor vehicle, or any person lawfully attempting to recover the motor vehicle, is guilty of carjacking.

Carjacking is considered a felony and falls under MCL 750.529a. 


  • Larceny – is the taking and movement of someone else’s motor vehicle with the intent to take it away from that person permanently. 
  • In the course of committing a larceny of a motor vehicle includes acts that occur in an attempt to commit the larceny, or during commission of the larceny, or in flight or attempted flight after the commission of the larceny, or in an attempt to retain possession of the motor vehicle. 
  • An accused “takes” a motor vehicle “from” another when she/he acquires possession of the motor vehicle through force or violence, threat of force or violence, or by putting another in fear.   For example: Under this definition, a defendant may “take” a motor vehicle “from” another person, for purposes of carjacking, by driving it while the other person remains with the vehicle.

The state has to prove these five (5) elements in order to find the accused guilty of Carjacking

  1. The accused took a motor vehicle that was not his/her own,
  2. The vehicle was taken from the immediate presence of a person who possesses the vehicle,
  3. The vehicle was taken against that person’s will,
  4. The accused used force to take the vehicle, and
  5. When the accused used force to take the vehicle, he/she intended to deprive the other person of possession of the vehicle. 


The intent to permanently deprive the accuser of his/her motor vehicle is not an element of the crime of carjacking

The carjacking statute does not allow multiple carjacking charges arising from a single carjacking.  Where the accused takes one motor vehicle, the statute allows for only one carjacking conviction.  This applies even if the car was taken from more than one person.  

For example, if there were three people in the vehicle, there can only be one charge. 

The accused may believe that the accuser is not in lawful possession of the vehicle, the court will most likely not allow that evidence in at court. 

It is common for Carjacking to be charged along with an Armed Robbery charge.  

For example:  The accuser claims that he/she was threatened by the accused with a gun, then the accused stole her car, and stole his/her money.  This fact scenario would be enough to charge the accused with Carjacking and Armed Robbery.

Where identity is an issue,  identity can be shown by items found in the accused’s possession and by use of cell-phone records. 

Carjacking is a general intent crime.


A person who in the course of committing a larceny of a motor vehicle uses force or violence or who puts in fear any operator, passenger, or person in lawful possession of the motor vehicle is guilty of carjacking, a felony punishable by imprisonment for life or for any term of years.

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