Grand Theft Auto
Under California Penal Code 487(d)(1), Grand Theft Auto is a serious crime that carries heavy penalties. Grand Theft Auto can be legally defined as the unlawful taking of another’s vehicle without explicit permission from the vehicle’s owner. While Grand Theft Auto is already a significant crime in itself, it is commonly committed along with other crimes such as robberies, homicides, and chop shop operations. Grand Theft Auto can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of each case. However, no matter which charge is filed against you, jail time is a serious possibility.
If you or someone you know is facing a Grand Theft Auto charge, it is imperative that you contact a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Spolin Law’s founder, attorney Aaron Spolin, is a former prosecutor with experience handling hundreds of car theft cases. Spolin Law has received praise because of its impressive track record. Contact our office today at (310) 424-5816 to hear more about how our legal experience can help your case.
Grand Theft Auto Punishments
The penalties for Grand Theft Auto vary depending on the type of charge, past criminal record, and circumstances of the case. If treated only as a misdemeanor, the penalty for Grand Theft Auto holds a maximum of one year in county jail as well as a monetary fine up to $1000. However, if the theft was violent in nature, prosecutors typically choose to pursue a felony charge, increasing the criminal penalties. If convicted of felony Grand Theft Auto, penalties quickly increase to two to three years in county jail and a maximum fine of $10000.
These criminal punishments are not the only implications of Grand Theft Auto. Many collateral consequences exist for any conviction, such as reevaluated immigration status, tarnished reputation, and gaining a criminal record. These secondary consequences often go unnoticed by the public but are usually the more crippling consequences of a conviction. Convicted criminals are one of the few groups that are not protected by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This means that employers are legally allowed to ask questions regarding past criminal records, which can seriously impair job opportunities for individuals who have been convicted.
Legal Defenses against Grand Theft Auto
Thankfully, there exist numerous viable defenses to Grand Theft Auto charges. These defenses are primarily formed around two main concepts: intent and consent. If a prosecutor is unable to prove the intention of the person accused of Grand Theft Auto, that charge cannot be levied. Concurrently, a prosecutor must prove that the vehicle was taken without proper consent of the owner which may be difficult in a court of law. Some other common defenses to Grand Theft Auto include:
- The vehicle was borrowed with the intention of returning back to owner
- The accused was given indirect permission to take the vehicle
- The monetary amount of the taken vehicle does not constitute grand theft, only petty theft
- The person charged was falsely accused and was not affiliated with the crime
- Consent to borrowing the vehicle was granted after the vehicle was taken
- The person charged had equity in the stolen vehicle
- The vehicle was a gift from the previous owner
These are only a few of the many plausible defenses to a Grand Theft Auto charge. Each case is a different situation and more individualized defenses may exist. A successful defense often constitutes a reduced sentence or charges, but at The Spolin Law a successful defense results in no conviction at all. Call our offices at (310) 424-5816 to speak with an attorney today.
Contacting a Grand Theft Auto Attorney
Criminal defense attorneys in California are plentiful. However, finding a legal professional with adequate experience in Grand Theft Auto cases can prove difficult. These qualified attorneys immensely increase the probability of a successful defense as well as bring a much-needed presence to a court of law. Whether it is through hiring premier experts or filing motions to suppress illegal evidence, Spolin Law will build an aggressive legal defense that is customized for your case. Call us today for a free confidential consultation at (310) 424-5816.