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UNDERSTANDING GRAND THEFT AUTO AND OTHER VEHICLE THEFT CRIMES

CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE SECTION 487(d): GRAND THEFT AUTO

Grand theft auto, is defined by California Penal Code § 487(d). It can be filed as either a felony or a misdemeanor crime this is referred to as a wobbler crime. Whether it is filed as a felony or misdemeanor crime will depend on several factors such as the manner in which the vehicle was taken, the value of the car and the Defendant’s prior history amongst others.

The punishment for a conviction of Grand Theft Auto in Los Angeles County is defined by statue as either no more than one year in county jail or for a state prison term. This may be for a term of either sixteen-month, two or three years. If however the person has been previously convicted of the same crime, that person will be facing increased sentencing terms of two, three or four years. There are other sentencing enhancements that may apply. These sentences may be lowered or altered with the help of a criminal defense attorney.

If you or someone you know are facing these extremely serious charges you need to contact a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who will work on defending you aggressively

CALIFORNIA VEHICLE CODE SECTION 10851-TAKING A VEHICLE WITHOUT THE OWNER’S CONSENT

Another form of vehicle theft in California is the taking of a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

Taking or driving a vehicle, without the owner’s consent coupled with intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the owner of the vehicle is a crime. It is not necessary to prove that a person who is charged with this theft crime to actually have had the intention to steal the vehicle. Merely taking it for a joyride is sufficient.

Many times a person may be charged with this crime if he or she rents a car and keeps it beyond the allowed period of time despite notice. Other times a person who is originally allowed to borrow a car but then keeps it beyond the scope of consent. This constitutes a crime but is one that is not as serious as the crime of Grand theft auto.

Taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent is punishable by up to one year in county jail or in state prison, a fine of up to $5000, or both. This may also be negotiated by your criminal defense attorney and many times we have been able to get NO JAIL TIME for our clients charged with vehicle theft.

IF YOU ARE CHARGED WITH A VEHICLE THEFT CRIME HERE IS WHAT YOU SHOULD DO

Being charged with a crime can be confusing and overwhelming. There are so many issues to resolve such as bail, possible Los Angeles jail time, fines and many more. Being convicted of a crime can mean the loss of freedom, steep fines and much more.

It may also affect your future ability to get a job or a professional license. That is why now more than ever it is crucial to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will fight for your rights. The earlier that you can contact a criminal lawyer the better the outcome is going to be. Most times, the expense of hiring a criminal attorney will be outweighed by the money that will be saved in fines, missed work and jail time. These are things that a criminal attorney will be able to spare you from.

If you have any specific questions that you would like to discuss with a criminal attorney about vehicle theft or any other topic in criminal law, feel free to call the offices of the SIGAL LAW GROUP. We are available 24/7 days a week and you can call toll free at 888 335-6008.