Car Theft Lawyer Philadelphia
Car theft is a serious crime that is usually charged as a felony offense. If police believe you stole a car, they will charge you with Theft by Unlawful Taking, Receiving Stolen Property, and/or other theft related offenses. If police believe you stole the car by force, however slight, you will be charged with Felony Robbery in addition to any theft offenses.
Types of Auto Thefts
Although there are many ways to steal a car, there are two that have important legal distinctions: stealing a car outside the presence of the driver and stealing the car by making threats of violence against the driver or person in charge of the car.
A person who merely takes a car by breaking in and then driving away can be charged with Theft by Unlawful Taking and Receiving Stolen Property, both graded as felonies. The type of felony, and the potential jail time you can receive, is determined by the value of the car. So, stealing an older model Honda Civic will probably net you a Felony of the Third Degree, while stealing a brand new Mercedes Benz could put you on the hook for a Felony of the First Degree.
If any force, no matter how slight, is used during an auto theft, then it is considered a robbery. The use of force applies to people – not property. As a result, you can be charged with robbery if you point a gun at someone and take their car. The law states that the use of force can be “however slight” so you can be charged for threatening someone with force or harm and taking their keys.
Defenses to Auto Theft
A good lawyer will turn every rock over and find possible factual and legal defenses. Defenses such as permission, mistaken identification, and alibis can all be effective in battling these charges. Furthermore, fingerprint, identification and car stop evidence can be thrown out if the police lacked probable cause. Your attorney will be able to go through the evidence and tell you if these defenses are available.
Philadelphia Car Theft Lawyer
The Law Offices of Greg Prosmuskin, P.C. have decades of experience in handling auto theft cases and can evaluate your case during a free consultation. Our Criminal Defense Attorneys specialize in criminal law, have practiced in Philadelphia courts for many years, and can give you an honest assessment of your case, and advise you on how to effectively handle your issue. Call us today.
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.