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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

How Philadelphia Auto Theft Differs from Theft-Related Offenses

Theft is defined as the taking of someone else’s property without permission and with the intent of permanently depriving that person of the property. When it is auto theft, it is simply the taking of someone’s vehicle without their permission and with the intent of permanently depriving that person of their vehicle. If you would like to learn more about how Philadelphia auto theft differs from theft-related offenses, reach out to a seasoned auto theft attorney today.

Prosecutor’s Burden of Proof

The Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an individual took an automobile from another person without that person’s consent and/or authorization. The prosecutors also must prove that the defendant took the vehicle with the intent to permanently deprive the other individual of the vehicle. As long as there is no violence, the matter is charged solely as an auto theft in Philadelphia County. When dealing with auto theft cases in Philadelphia, attorneys need to go into the actual details of the specific theft of an automobile to determine what, if any, defenses are available at the time of a pretrial disposition or trial. If there are, the lawyer will begin looking into the different defense strategies that could help the defendant’s case.

Common Defense Strategies

Some of the most common defenses for auto theft involve individuals who may have been given permission by another person to use the vehicle. However, the person that gave permission may not be the owner of the vehicle. Thus, the individual gets charged with auto theft. However, a defense could be raised that the person receiving the permission to use the car felt the other individual was actually the rightful owner. This means the defendant may not have known that the automobile was stolen and, therefore, they did not have the intent to permanently deprive the lawful owner of such automobile.

Also, there are cases where vehicles may have been stolen but re-tagged and sold in a legal fashion. When this happens, a person who thought they purchased a car legally may not be aware that the vehicle was previously stolen. The defense strategies for auto theft are quite unique and are one of the ways to show how Philadelphia auto theft differs from theft-related offenses.

Law Enforcement’s Treatment of Auto Theft

The crime of auto theft is taken very seriously as it is considered a crime against society. It is the type of crime that should be defended vigorously and in the most expedited fashion possible. Prosecutors work hard to prosecute individuals who have been charged with auto theft and they want defendants to face the harsh penalties. This is why it is essential for a person who has been charged with auto theft to obtain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Attorney’s Approach to an Auto Theft Case

A defense lawyer will approach an auto theft case by being detailed-oriented and investigating the specific facts of the case. The specific facts of the case can determine which course to take when building a defense. An attorney can gather evidence through the use of investigators and will look for any type of evidence that could be helpful for a defense. For more information about how Philadelphia auto theft differs from theft-related offenses, contact a well-established defense attorney.