Building a Columbia Auto Theft Defense

Auto theft, also known as carjacking, could be defined as the unauthorized stealing of another individual’s motor vehicle. An auto theft charge could lead to severe consequences including jail time and fines. Individuals who have been charged with car theft should get help from a knowledgeable attorney.

An experienced theft lawyer could help alleged offenders the moment they get arrested, to bond hearings and court proceedings. They will use their knowledge, experience, and resources to start building a Columbia auto theft defense. This could include reviewing evidence, speaking to potential witnesses, and more. For more information about how to protect your rights and help you avoid the consequences of a conviction, speak to a skilled criminal defense lawyer today.

How Does Auto Theft Differ From Other Theft-Related Offenses?

Auto theft is specific because it relates to the stealing of another individual’s automobile with intent to deprive the owner of the vehicle. One example of auto theft is joyriding, which is the use of a vehicle without consent but without the intent to deprive the owner of it. The person borrowed the car without permission, but they did not intend to steal the car and they were going to bring it back. The value of the car is the most important part as to whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony. Also, there is the carjacking element that considers whether the owner of the vehicle was inside the car at the time of the theft offense and whether force, threat or intimidation was used to obtain the vehicle.

What the Prosecution Has to Prove in Auto Theft Cases

A conviction will depend on whether the offense is a larceny or a carjacking. In a larceny, what the prosecutor will try to prove is that the automobile was taken away from the alleged victim and there was an intent to deprive the victim of the vehicle.

If someone is taking away a piece of property and their intent was to use it for themselves and to deprive the owner of that property, they have committed a larceny offense. Whereas carjacking is when someone takes a motor vehicle of another person by use of force, violence, or intimidation while they are either operating the vehicle or they are inside the car. Carjacking is a felony offense.

Preparing a Defense for a Carjacking Charge

Building a Columbia auto theft defense includes viewing the case carefully, looking for available legal defenses, looking for weaknesses in the state’s case, and conducting an independent investigation. This includes not taking the evidence that is presented to them by the government as true but also trying to look and tie up all the loose ends of the case where there may be either a failure to investigate or a lack of investigation. The initial steps an experienced auto theft lawyer will take in preparing a case includes requesting and obtaining all of the discovery and evidence in the case.

How an Attorney Could Help with Building a Columbia Auto Theft Defense

To protect their rights, individuals who have been charged with an auto theft offense should speak to a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alleged offenders should not rely on themselves to handle legal matters. They need to have a trained and experienced lawyer by their side, building the best defense possible by walking them through this process, negotiating with the prosecutor, and ultimately being there to defend them if they ever go to trial. Call today to learn more about how a lawyer could help you with building a Columbia auto theft defense.