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California woman faces carjacking charge after high-speed pursuit

A California woman may spend up to 16 years behind bars for allegedly leading Los Angeles County police on a high-speed chase that came to an abrupt end in the parking lot of a Bell Gardens casino. The 26-year-old woman was charged with two counts of assaulting a peace officer, carjacking and fleeing a peace officer. Her bail was set at $120,000.

The chase began at about 8:00 p.m. on July 13 when police in Compton attempted to pull over an SUV that matched the description of a vehicle taken by an alleged knife-wielding carjacker in South El Monte two days earlier. Police say that the woman drove wildly during the ensuing pursuit, and footage captured by a news helicopter shows the SUV running red lights and showering bystanders with sparks during the chase.

The assault charge stems from an incident during the chase when the woman may have intentionally backed the SUV into a police cruiser. She also faces a felony charge for allegedly using a knife during the initial carjacking. This was not the first time the woman had been pursued by police officers as reports indicate that she was convicted of reckless driving and fleeing the police in 2015.

An attorney may urge a client who is facing criminal charges to remain silent but otherwise cooperate with police. Better behavior may make it easier for the lawyer to seek lenient treatment for the client. The attorney may point out mitigating factors like the defendant's good job, loyal family or genuine feelings of remorse when negotiating with prosecutors.

Source: NBC 4 Los Angeles, "Woman Pleads Not Guilty in Carjacking, Assault," July 19, 2016

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