In Pennsylvania the grading of theft of a car is always a Felony of the third degree. which means you may be facing jail time. Call the Law Offices of Michelle A. Fioravanti at 484-876-1543 or contact us if you have been charged with Car Theft so we can discuss the charges and penalties you face.
Car Theft Lawyer in Chester, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Delaware, Lancaster, Berks and Bucks County Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania there is an offense known as Unauthorized Use of Automobile, which is a lesser degree of car theft. Under certain circumstances it may be possible to have Car Theft charge reduced to Unauthorized Use of Automobile. Under this law it is a crime to operate an automobile, motorcycle, or other motor-propelled vehicle when it belongs to someone else and that person has not given consent. Unlawful Use of Automobile in Pennsylvania is a Misdemeanor of the second degree.
Defenses to the Pennsylvania Criminal Charge of Unauthorized Use of Automobile
Some of the defenses to the charge of Unauthorized Use of Automobile is the Commonwealth, through the Assistant District Attorney, did not meet the burden of proving all the elements of the crime charged. Another is if you reasonably believed the owner of the car would have consented to your using it had he known. This belief must be objectively reasonable, meaning it is not enough that you personally believed the owner would not mind your using his car. You may be able to argue that you genuinely believed you had consent. Again, you must establish you had an objectively reasonable belief. And if you have been charged with car theft, there is the possibility to try to negotiate the charges down to a lower offense of Unauthorized Use of Automobile.
It is important that you contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as you are arrested for Car Theft or Unauthorized Use of Automobile. It may be possible to have the charges reduced or thrown out all together. Call the Law Offices of Michelle A. Fioravanti at 484-876-1543 or contact us so that we may start preparing a defense as soon as possible.