Jeffry Mandell has been an Auto Theft Lawyer in Chicago for over 40 years.
There are two main types of Auto Theft charges. You can be charged with Possession of a Stolen Automobile if you are driving or are in possession of a stolen automobile. Even if you were not the person that stole the automobile, you can still be arrested for this charge if the police think that it is likely you knew that the automobile was stolen.
The second Auto Theft charge is if there is proof that you are the person that stole an automobile, you will be charged with Auto Theft. This is separate from the Possession charge because you do not necessarily have to be in possession of the car to be charged with this crime.
Possession of a Stolen Automobile is a Class 2 Felony. This could result in 3-7 years of penitentiary time and a significant fine.
Here are some strategies for defending against Auto Theft Charge:
- A strategy for defending against Possession of a Stolen Automobile is trying to prove that you did not know the car had been stolen. Part of this is to show at trial how you came into possession of the car without knowing that it was stolen(i.e. you borrowed the car or you have a legitimate Bill of Sale). It is important that you go over the evidence with your attorney to prepare your defense.
- Try to reduce it to a lesser charge of Criminal trespassing to a Vehicle. This is a misdemeanor charge and the penalties are reduced. Make sure to consult with your attorney to determine if this is an option in your case.
For all situations, make sure to consult with a criminal defense lawyer and go over the evidence in your case to determine the best strategy for your case.