Grand Theft Auto in Aliso Viejo

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.

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.

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

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