Philadelphia law does not have a crime specifically associated with joyriding. Other crimes may point to the same types of action, however, and prosecutors will not hesitate to pursue a felony conviction.
Joyriding-related offenses could result in felony charges, and being convicted of a felony could cause serious problems in your future. Thankfully, a Philadelphia joyriding lawyer could stand by your side and fight these charges on your behalf. Experienced auto theft attorneys understand the tactics used by the prosecution in these cases, and they could use the facts of your case to fight for a favorable verdict. Call today to discuss your situation.
In Pennsylvania, a joyriding type of crime is often charged as unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. If the vehicle is stolen, the charge becomes receipt of stolen property, which is a felony in the third degree. Sometimes, felony theft charges of the third degree can accompany the misdemeanor charge.
Should the vehicle be damaged, a charge of criminal mischief graded as a second-degree or third-degree misdemeanor could be added. The specific elements and charges of a particular set of facts are dictated by the facts of the arrest, what the person is accused of doing, and the Pennsylvania laws allegedly broken. For more information, consult with a knowledgeable joyriding attorney in Philadelphia.
Failure to return a leased vehicle, if a person is the lessor, can often be charged as theft or receiving stolen property. When a vehicle was due back at a particular time, and the lessor continued to hold that vehicle without authority, they have committed a willing theft. This most often occurs when vehicles are borrowed or rented for a particular period.
If an individual believes they have permission from the rightful owner to have the car but later it is determined that the car was stolen, this could be considered receiving stolen property and graded a felony of the third degree. This could occur especially if there were signs the vehicle was stolen, such as damage to the steering column, locks, or windows.
The prosecution must prove all of the elements of the specific charges that it wishes to put forward against an individual in a joyriding type of offense. Usually, the prosecution must prove an unauthorized use of a motor vehicle charge. To prove this charge, prosecutors first must demonstrate that the accused individual used a motor vehicle that they did not own. The prosecution also needs to show that the individual did not receive permission or knew or should have known that the person from whom they obtained permission did not have the authority to give them such permission. If the permission element is a weak spot in the prosecution’s case, a Philadelphia joyriding lawyer could work to exploit it for the benefit of the accused.
In addition, if the vehicle was recently stolen, a charge of receiving stolen property is created as a felony of the third degree of a motor vehicle, or even theft of the motor vehicle as a felony of the third degree can come into play. Thus, the Commonwealth must show that a person knew or should have known that the vehicle they had was stolen. Under all case scenarios, the Commonwealth has the burden of showing beyond reasonable doubt the individual operating the car did not have a proper authority to do so, should have realized they did not have authority, or there should have been some information showing that they knew or should have known by damage in and of itself that the vehicle was stolen.
A Philadelphia joyriding lawyer could analyze the specific circumstances of your case and understand the evidence that may be used against you. They could negotiate directly with prosecutors on your behalf and fight for your freedom in court if necessary. Consult with a veteran criminal defense attorney to get started building a defense.