Defenses for Auto Theft Charges: Regardless of the crime you have a constitutional right to defend your charges. Defenses criminal attorneys commonly use to defend auto theft charges.
Auto Theft Charges | "Theft of Means of Transportation"
Auto theft charges in Chandler, AZ are known as "Theft of Means of Transportation" according to Arizona Law. Auto theft is a class 3 felony and considered a crime against victims in Arizona. If convicted, these type of offenses carry harsh penalties. Arizona has earned a position of the 4th state with highest number auto thefts in the country. Arizona egregiously prosecutes auto theft charges. A first time auto theft conviction exposes a defendant to 8.75 years in prison. Repeat offenses carry increased penalties and longer sentencing of incarceration. Other punishments may include restitution, fines, and a felony on your criminal history for years. You should consult a Criminal Attorney who frequently defends Chandler AZ auto theft charges as soon as possible.
Chandler AZ Auto Theft Laws
Criminal Laws in Arizona do not exist just to prosecute crimes. One reason they also exist to protect your constitutional rights. Top criminal defense lawyers in Arizona know how to use those same Arizona laws to defend your criminal charges.
Auto theft charges in Chandler AZ are governed by the State of Arizona criminal codes and can be found in greater detail at Arizona Statutes Website. Refer to Auto Theft Law "Theft of Means of Transportation" A.R.S. 13-1814.
In order to be convicted of Auto Theft the Arizona Prosecution must prove the following (paraphrased):
1. You knowingly took a vehicle without the owner's permission or legal authority;
2. You controlled, converted or obtained another person's "means of transportation".
3. Your intent was to permanently deprive another of that vehicle. .
In sum, a person needs to have "known" they were taking someone else's vehicle; they intended to keep it permanently from the rightful owner. This is not always easy for the Arizona prosecution to prove.
5 Criminal Defenses used by Top Attorneys in Chandler AZ
A number of defenses can possibly be used and depend mostly on the facts surrounding each case. Here are at least 5 possible common defenses used by AZ local criminal attorneys to defend Chandler AZ auto theft charges.
1) You thought you did have the owner's consent or permission. This occurs commonly with family members, friends, or domestic partners. In this scenario you may have been a permissive user at some point. However, later the rightful owner of the vehicle rescinded their permission or changed their mind. In you defense your attorney would argue that you did not know the owner rescinded their consent therefore you though you had permission. Basically you did not intend to steal the vehicle.
2) Mistake of fact involving a purchase. This would apply if you purchased a vehicle in good faith from another person or entity. At that time you genuinely believed they were authorized to sell it or where with owners of the vehicle. Later, you learn, they did not have authority to sell it to you and you find out you purchased a stolen vehicle. In this case, you did not know it was stolen and did not intend to permanently deprive the rightful owner of their means of transportation.
3) Mistake of fact regarding lease, loan or borrowing of a vehicle from someone you believed was the rightful owner, or had legal authority to loan or lease you the vehicle. A good criminal defense lawyer would argue that you rented or borrowed the vehicle from a person or entity that you genuinely thought had the legal authority to load or lease you the vehicle. You had no knowledge of it being stolen. You did not intend to deprive the owner permanently of their means of transportation.
4) Violation of Constitutional rights - You have many constitutional rights at the State and Federal level. Some common violations of rights occur that surround the following: a) Unlawful search and seizures of person or residence b) Denial of your to right to counsel; c) police intimidation, threat, coercion for the purpose of extracting information from you and getting you to admit to a crime. This happens occasionally in absence of a person's criminal defense attorney.
5) Flaws or weaknesses the Arizona prosecution's case. This may include improper proof that you did not knowingly and intentionally steal the vehicle; lack of evidence; conflicting information or lack of witnesses; questionable witness statements from unreliable sources; lack of due criminal law process and proper investigation by law enforcement officials.
Top criminal defense attorneys in Chandler AZ that are experienced at defending auto theft cases will know what defenses to use under what circumstances. It is important that you retain an experienced criminal defense or auto theft attorney as soon as possible. They will make every effort to get your auto theft charges dismissed, reduced, or otherwise best outcome in your case.