Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney
Joyriding is the unauthorized use of a vehicle. It involves taking the vehicle or driving it without the consent of the owner and the absence of the owner with the intent to temporarily deprive the owner of this possession. Joyriding, however, does not have the intent to steal it. If the owner is present in the vehicle, they have implied consent to drive the car. A Fairfax joyriding lawyer knows how difficult a situation can be and how the situation could be misinterpreted. Call a professional attorney today to see what steps you can take.
In order to be charged with joyriding, there has to be proof that the defendant intended to borrow the car but “to return it back.” The last element that the Commonwealth’s attorney has to prove is that driver did not intend to steal. There are two mens rea components here. One is the intent to temporarily borrow the car and number two is lack of an intent to steal.
An example of joyriding is a situation where a daughter or a son borrow their parent’s car to run an errand and come back home, but the parents did not know about this and did not give consent and they were not present. This is what joyriding is. A friend borrowing someone’s car, and they somehow have access to the keys, but they do not get consent from their friends. They bring the vehicle back eventually. If there is any proof that the person was going to steal the car forever then that is not joyriding. For more examples, contact a Fairfax joyriding lawyer.
If there is any evidence showing that there was consent or presence of the owner, a person cannot have a joyriding charge because if the owner was present in the car, then they have implied consent to the driver of the car. Joyriding is a Class 6 felony. If the value of the vehicle is less than $500, then it is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Joyriding is the same charge as a classic felony. It is a Class 6 felony, and it is punished with imprisonment of not less than one year and not more five years and a fine of not more than $2,500. It is a pretty serious charge, and there could be some jail time imposed. With felonies, a person serves 80% of that sentence if there is any suspended time, they serve 80% of their sentence as opposed to misdemeanors where they serve 50% of their sentence and they are given credit for good behavior. The active jail time for a person is longer with felonies because of how the mandatory minimums work. Joyriding is a pretty serious charge, it involves jail time and involves a large fine, and it has the stigma as a crime of honesty, which may hinder a person’s chance for employment in the future. With the help of an experienced Fairfax joyriding lawyer, a person is well-prepared to fight the charge.