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Coxwell & Associates Motor Vehicle Theft

Motor Vehicle Theft

Motor vehicle theft is a very common charge in Jackson and all around the Metro Area. Taking a vehicle without permission with the intent of permanently or temporarily depriving the owner of the vehicle can get you slapped with motor vehicle theft charges. In most cases, due to the monetary value of automobiles, motor vehicle theft is almost always a felony. This means that if you’re convicted, in addition to hefty fines, you could spend more than a year in a correctional facility. Since many cases of so-called motor vehicle theft can be misinterpreted, whether it was a misunderstanding between family members or retracted permission from a friend with a car, it’s important to speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if you’re facing motor vehicle theft charges.

Types of Motor Vehicles

  • Automobiles
  • Trucks
  • SUV’s
  • Buses
  • Vans
  • Minivans
  • Motorcycles
  • Scooters
  • All-terrain vehicles
  • Golf carts

What is Not Motor Vehicle Theft?

It’s equally important to understand what doesn’t count as motor vehicle theft. A teen joyriding in his parents’ car in the middle of the night wouldn’t typically be considered motor vehicle theft. That teen might be facing other repercussions, but felony charges for grand theft auto probably won’t be included. Misunderstandings between family members might also not be considered motor vehicle theft. If you share a car with somebody in the family, and that person takes the car at a time when you weren’t expecting them to, with the full intent to bring the vehicle back, that wouldn’t be classified as motor vehicle theft. In order to be classified as motor vehicle theft, the person has to either steal or attempt to steal the vehicle with absolutely no intent to return. It’s also important to note that if the vehicle is taken by force, that would fall under the category of carjacking.

What About Consent?

If you had permission to use somebody’s vehicle, then you shouldn’t be charged with motor vehicle theft. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to hear about vehicle owners, especially friends and family members, to change their mind after the fact. This type of misunderstanding can happen after a falling out of some sort. Try to have an open line of communication with anybody you’re borrowing a car from to ensure there are no misunderstandings. That being said, anybody can change their mind after the incident in question. Equally important, you need to understand that just because you had permission to use the vehicle previously, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you had permission to use it this time. It will be important to speak with your lawyer about the unique individual circumstances of your case.

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