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Grand Theft Auto in Aliso Viejo

Grand theft auto is defined as stealing a car with the intentions of permanently keeping it. It involves the offender, with the intentions of permanently depriving the true owner of the vehicle, taking or driving a vehicle that they did not own without the permission of the true owner. This can include motorcycles and recreational vehicles. Vehicle theft in the city of Aliso Viejo can lead to you being charged with one of two offenses depending on the intention of the theft. The charge will either be:

  • A ‘Joy riding’ offense or the unlawful taking of a vehicle under Vehicle Code 10851 or
  • Grand Theft Auto under Penal Code 487(d)(1)

The prosecution will charge you based on the intention for the crime that they can prove. In essence, if your intention was to take the vehicle for a joyride then you will be charged under VC 10851 for ‘joyriding’. However, if it can be proved that your intention was to permanently keep the vehicle or to keep it for some time, then you will be charged under PC 487(d)(1) for Grand Theft Auto.

There is also the possibility of tricking someone into getting the owner of the vehicle to allow you to take possession of their own property, even though the owner of the vehicle did not have the full intentions of giving you that property. An example of this circumstance would be someone allowing their friend to borrow their vehicle for the day because theirs is broken. However, instead of returning it at the end of the day as agreed, the friend drives off to a far location and plans to never return it.

Penalties for Grand Theft Auto

Depending on the specific circumstances of the case or on whether you have prior charges, you will be charged with either a felony or a misdemeanor charge. For a first time conviction, penalties usually include:

  • Jail time for one year or more
  • Significant fines
  • Probation
  • Community service and
  • Suspension of your driver’s license

For a second conviction and subsequent convictions, penalties generally tend to be more severe than prior convictions. Additionally, since the city of Aliso Viejo and the state of California has ‘three strike’ laws, Grand Theft charges can result in extreme punishment.

GTA defense

There are several strategies that can be used to defend against a GTA conviction. Some defense strategies include: you thought you had permission from the owner to drive the vehicle, you were mistaken about the car’s legal owner and so on. If the person does take the car without the permission of the owner, but still possesses the intentions of returning it back to them, then it is not as serious of an accusation. In addition, if the owner of the car did give their consent or permission to take or drive the car, then it must be made a point that they did so specifically on that occasion and not just in general.

It is however, important that you have a competent criminal defense attorney on your side to fight against the conviction for you.

  • License Suspension in Aliso Viejo

In the city of Aliso Viejo, as in the rest of California, your driver’s license could be suspended by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (CA DMV) or by the state courts for a number of reasons. When your driver’s license is suspended, it means that driving privileges previously granted to you by the state have been taken away from you. Although sometimes misunderstood, driving is not a right to which everyone is entitled.

Reasons for license suspension

There are several reasons why your driver’s license may be suspended in Aliso Viejo. Some of the reasons include:

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For a first time DUI, the consequences and penalties are a lot less severe than a repeat offenders would be. For example, if it is a first time offense, then in order to prevent a driver’s license suspension, it is important to avoid a DUI conviction in cout and to avoid losing a hearing.
  • Driving while being mentally or physically unfit,
  • Getting into a traffic accident without insurance,
  • Failing to Appear (FTA) in court when asked to after receiving a traffic ticket,
  • Not paying the fine resulting from a failure to appear that you are asked to pay
  • Driving a commercial vehicle without a commercial driver’s license
  • Reckless driving and so on.

Additionally, under the Negligent Operator Treatment System(NOTS) rules, if you accumulate points on your driver record, your license could also be suspended.

What to do if your license is suspended

If your driver’s license is suspended, you have several options depending on the circumstances of the suspension. Having a competent attorney, knowledgeable about license suspension on your side, can help you find the best strategy to plead your license suspension.

For example, if your suspension was due to a DUI of alcohol or for failing to have car insurance, you can apply to have a restricted license until your permanent license is reinstated. There are some conditions that you will need to meet in order for you to acquire the restricted license including enrolling to a licensed DUI First Offender Program.

Call our criminal defense lawyers immediately if your driver license is at risk of suspension. A one day delay could mean the difference between driving your own vehicle to work or taking the bus.

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