There are many different ways a motor vehicle can be stolen. You could be sitting in a traffic jam when suddenly someone approaches the side of your car with a weapon and demands you to get out and give up your car. This is known as carjacking and it is a federal offense and can result in jail time of up to 15 years.
It’s also possible that while you were at work, a person approached your car, smashed the window and was able to start your vehicle without your keys by hotwiring the vehicle. There have even been cases where a person has called a tow truck and has your vehicle towed to a location of their choice. Either way, this type of motor vehicle theft is the theft of an unattended vehicle without keys.
Accused of or under investigation for auto theft? This is a serious theft crime that is classified as a felony offense in Georgia. It is important to act quickly and involve an Atlanta criminal defense lawyer who can work to protect your Constitutional rights.
About Motor Vehicle Theft Charges
Theft may be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of property involved as well as other factors, such as the defendant’s criminal record, whether a weapon was used, and the manner in which the crime was committed (by force, threats or without the victim’s knowledge). Auto theft is generally a felony due to the fact that the vehicle will be worth at least $500. Stolen property valued at $500 or more will classify the offense as grand theft.
A defendant may face serious criminal penalties for a motor vehicle theft conviction in Atlanta, particularly if he or she took the vehicle by force and against the victim’s will. In this situation, auto theft would be classified as a form of robbery: carjacking. Kidnapping may even be related to auto theft charges in some situations if there was a passenger in the vehicle at the time it was taken.