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New Jersey Auto Theft Lawyer

When an individual takes a car without the permission of its owner, they can be charged with auto theft. Also known as Theft by Unlawful Taking of a Motor Vehicle, auto theft is a serious crime that carries even more serious penalties for those convicted.

Those charged with auto theft are often charged with additional crimes, such as burglary or receiving stolen property, which can have a profound impact on their sentence.

If you or someone you care about has been charged with auto theft, you will more than likely need the aid of an experienced auto theft lawyer who understands the various components of movable property laws.

Potential Consequences of Auto Theft

In the state of New Jersey, theft of a motor vehicle is considered a third-degree crime that can carry a penalty of up to five years in prison. In addition to prison time, a convicted individual could also be required to pay a hefty fine and lose their license for a period of time. Penalties for those convicted are as follows:

  • First Offense: One-year license suspension and a $500 fine
  • Second Offense: Two-year license suspension and a $1,000 fine
  • Third Offense: 10-year license suspension and a $2,000 fine

Under most circumstances, when a person commits a third-degree crime for the first time, they will not automatically face jail time. However, this can change depending on the criminal record of the accused person. Individuals with more extensive records will automatically face harsher sentencing without the aid of a New Jersey auto theft lawyer.

Defining Auto Theft

During the trial, the prosecution will need to prove that the accused individual engaged in the following actions:

  • Intentionally and knowingly exercised control over movable property
  • The movable property belonged to another person
  • Intended to permanently deprive the other person of their movable property

To permanently deprive another person of their movable property means that an individual does not intend to return the property to its rightful owner indefinitely. If the accused individual intended to return the vehicle, they could not be charged with auto theft under New Jersey state law. 

Severity of a Charge

Auto theft is a serious crime that requires a serious defense, and with a New Jersey auto theft lawyer from our firm, you can be sure that you get the defense you deserve.

Local auto theft lawyers have extensive experience handling auto theft cases, and will always do their best to get charges dismissed or reduced. An individual ready to discuss their case should contact an attorney as soon as possible.

The Benefits of Hiring an Attorney

It can be tempting for accused individuals to retain the services of a public defender, but realistically, many lack the experience and devotion that an experienced New Jersey auto theft lawyer can bring to the table. In court, an attorney can help clients in the following ways:

  • Explain how strong the current charges against the client are and their chances of having them dismissed or reduced
  • Attempt to get the sentence shortened
  • Convince the prosecution to not file charges

A seasoned attorney can bring numerous benefits to the table. It is normal to be confused and intimidated by criminal charges, but with an attorney, an accused individual can be sure that their rights are honored and protected.