In California, a theft offense may be charged as a petty theft or grand theft. Typically, a grand theft involves a theft of property valued at more than $950. In the case of auto theft, however, the prosecution does not have to prove that the value of the vehicle allegedly stolen exceeds $950.
Speak to a Los Angeles Grand Theft Auto Defense Lawyer Today!
If you have taken a vehicle that is not yours, you may have been charged with grand theft auto, or you may have been charged with the unlawful taking or driving of a vehicle (sometimes referred to as joyriding). If this is the case, please contact a Los Angeles grand theft auto defense attorney by calling us at 213-514-8324 or contact us by e-mail.
Grand Theft Auto Charges in Los Angeles
To convict a defendant of grand theft auto (GTA), the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to permanently deprive the owner of the vehicle (intent to steal).
Joyriding Charges in Los Angeles
To convict a person of the lesser offense of unlawful taking of a vehicle (joyriding), the prosecution must only prove that the defendant intended to temporarily deprive the owner of his or her vehicle (unlawfully drove the vehicle without the consent of the owner).
If you have been arrested for a grand theft auto or unlawful taking or driving of a vehicle, it is critical that you protect your rights by retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney. For a strong defense, contact the Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman in Los Angeles.
Defense of Grand Theft Auto Charges in Los Angeles
We are committed to zealously defending your freedom, record and rights. Fortunately, there are a number of defenses we may raise if you have been charged with grand theft auto:
- No intent to steal: If you simply intended to drive the vehicle a short distance or for a short time, you may be guilty only of the lesser offense of joyriding.
- Consent: If the owner consented to your use of a vehicle, you are not guilty of a criminal offense. For example, you use a friend’s van or truck with his or her consent because you need to move furniture or perform other tasks. Such a defense will not make sense if the vehicle is owned by a stranger, but may be potentially viable if the vehicle was owned by a parent, sibling, former spouse, neighbor, boyfriend or girlfriend.
- Mistaken identity: As with many other charges, people are sometimes falsely accused of grand theft auto because they have been mistakenly identified.
In addition to such defenses that may be used at trial, we may negotiate with the prosecution to seek a favorable plea agreement. Since grand theft auto is often charged as a felony, a plea to a lesser misdemeanor offense may be in your best interests depending on the strength of the prosecution’s case. If you have been charged with misdemeanor joyriding, we may be able to negotiate a plea agreement that will help you avoid a criminal conviction or significantly reduce the penalties that are imposed by the court.
In some cases, individuals accused of grand theft auto may also be charged with auto burglary, since they have broken into the vehicle for the purpose of theft. We may seek a plea agreement in such cases to allow our client to plead guilty to just one offense and that offense might potentially be a lesser offense of joyriding or a related lesser offense.
Of course, there are numerous potential outcomes that may be obtained by negotiating a plea agreement or by fighting your charges at trial. If retained as your counsel, we will use our knowledge of California law and experience gained from defending hundreds of clients against criminal charges to actively pursue the most favorable result in your case.
To schedule a free consultation with one of our Los Angeles grand theft auto lawyers, call 213-514-8324 or contact us by e-mail.