Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney
A Fairfax auto theft lawyer can answer any questions regarding the difference between auto theft and other charges relating to vehicles. Auto theft is when a person takes a car that does not belong to them, but the car is unoccupied at the time. There is not an element of force or threat of force to be used. Auto theft is a lower-level type of charge in terms of car theft charges and it does not have a separate statute. Rather, it is included under the larceny code section. Larceny is the unlawful taking of property that belongs to someone else with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property.
Auto theft is included under larceny, and it is divided according to the value of the item. It is charged with petty larceny, auto theft, grand larceny, or larceny auto theft. Anything less than $500 is charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor. For anything above $500, a person would be looking at prison for at least one year or up to 20 years. It also carries an aggravated charge. In addition, if there is a third conviction, it often becomes a felony regardless of the value. Consult with an experienced Fairfax theft lawyer for more information.
Auto theft is a type of theft crime. It is charged with larceny, whether it is petty larceny or grand larceny. Depending on the value of the items, it is a criminal conviction. Anything less than $500 is a Class 1 misdemeanor, but that is still a serious charge. A Class 1 misdemeanor carries the penalty of up to $2,500 in fines and up to 12 months in jail. It is serious. That being said, a Fairfax auto theft lawyer knows how an auto theft case works and will challenge the accusations on a person’s behalf. It is important that a person provides all information to a qualified attorney so that they can assess the facts to the best of their ability. A person does not have to fight the charge alone.
Arraignment is an early chance for a defendant to try to gauge the seriousness of how the commonwealth’s attorney’s office is intending to prosecute that defendant. It is a way for them to see what evidence is available. If there are any statements available that the defendant made, a defense attorney is able to get that on the spot. In short, there is an option for discovery to be had at arraignment. There is an option for the defense attorney to talk to the commonwealth attorney on the spot to ask questions like whether or not there is any discovery that a person can share with them at that point. Are there any witnesses, witness lists, or things of that nature? It is possible to get some of that information at arraignment. Working with a Fairfax auto theft lawyer can be beneficial at the arraignment.
The approach is going to be the same in terms of preparing the mitigating evidence and evaluating the type of charge. The only difference is building up the scene because with auto theft crimes do not involve a driver. There is only the defendant available and there could be explanations or an excuse for what the defendant did at the time.
If a person is fleeing away from a very dangerous situation and they needed to take the car, it is a charge that has possible excuses or possible justifications out of necessity than something like carjacking, for instance. There could be a good explanation as to why that took place at the time. An experienced auto theft attorney would try to focus on that part to see if there are any possible explanations for why the defendant did what they did at the time. By working with a skilled lawyer, a person has the best chance of mitigating, reducing, or dropping charges altogether.