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Morris County NJ Auto Theft Lawyer

Criminal Defense Attorneys Located in Morristown, New Jersey

Auto Theft or Joyriding Lawyer - 2C:20-3
Auto Theft or Joyriding Lawyer – 2C:20-3

The term “auto theft” covers a variety of offenses involving the theft or unlawful taking of an automobile. NJ prosecutors take auto theft charges very seriously. As a result, theft penalties are automatically enhanced when an automobile is involved. If you are convicted of auto theft, you could be sentenced to five (5) years in NJ State Prison, in addition to other penalties discussed below.

Without proper legal representation, you or your loved one could be facing serious jail time and fines for an auto theft conviction. An experienced theft crime defense lawyer can help you potentially beat your auto theft charges and avoid jail time. The Tormey Law Firm is an experienced group of criminal defense lawyers who have extensive experience representing clients charged with theft and fraud offenses, including auto theft, carjacking, and robbery throughout New Jersey, including in Madison, Dover, Denville, Parsippany, and Morristown. Our managing partner, Travis J. Tormey, was featured in the Daily Record in Morris County regarding several shoplifting cases he handled and the immigration consequences and penalties involved.

At the Tormey Law Firm, we understand the stress and fear that a person charged with a crime experiences. We will guide you through the NJ criminal justice system and zealously represent you. If you or a loved one has been charged with auto theft in New Jersey, contact the Tormey Law Firm anytime at 866-949-6948 for immediate assistance and a free consultation.

New Jersey Auto Theft Statute: N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3

Auto theft is addressed by New Jersey’s general theft statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3. The statute prohibits a person from taking an automobile with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of the vehicle. Unlike typical theft by unlawful taking charges, the grading and penalties for auto theft are not determined by the value of the property taken. Theft of an automobile by unlawful taking is, at a minimum, a third degree crime, punishable by a period of incarceration of between three (3) and five (5) years in NJ State Prison. An offender can also have his or her driver’s license suspended for a period of up to 10 years.

Joyriding or Unauthorized Use of an Automobile in New Jersey

When a person takes an automobile with the intention of temporarily depriving the owner of the vehicle, it is typically charged as joyriding, not auto theft. Joyriding, or unauthorized use of an automobile, is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:20-10, which provides, in pertinent part:

a. A person commits a disorderly persons offense if, with purpose to withhold temporarily from the owner, he takes, operates, or exercises control over any means of conveyance, other than a motor vehicle, without consent of the owner or other person authorized to give consent. “Means of conveyance” includes but is not limited to motor vehicles, bicycles, motorized bicycles, boats, horses, vessels, surfboards, rafts, skimobiles, airplanes, trains, trams and trailers. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under subsections a., b. and c. of this section that the actor reasonably believed that the owner or any other person authorized to give consent would have consented to the operation had he known of it.

b. A person commits a crime of the fourth degree if, with purpose to withhold temporarily from the owner, he takes, operates or exercises control over a motor vehicle without the consent of the owner or other person authorized to give consent.

c. A person commits a crime of the third degree if, with purpose to withhold temporarily from the owner, he takes, operates or exercises control over a motor vehicle without the consent of the owner or other person authorized to give consent and operates the motor vehicle in a manner that creates a risk of injury to any person or a risk of damage to property.

d. A person commits a crime of the fourth degree if he enters and rides in a motor vehicle knowing that the motor vehicle has been taken or is being operated without the consent of the owner or other person authorized to consent.

Contact an East Hanover NJ Auto Theft Attorney to Discuss Your Case

The aggressive criminal attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm can help you potentially beat your case. We’ve got the experience necessary to fight your charges both in and out of the courtroom. Because we have an active NJ prosecutor on staff, we know how the other side thinks. And our experienced criminal and theft defense attorneys understand the advanced defense strategies needed to secure you a win if your case goes to trial. If you or a loved one has been charged with a theft crime in New Jersey, contact the Tormey Law Firm anytime for immediate assistance at 866-949-6948 for a free consultation.

The Tormey Law Firm Video Library

If you've been charged with a criminal offense, disorderly persons offense, or traffic / DWI violation, you have the right to an attorney who will defend you against your charges and fight for your best interests. To learn more about how your attorney can fight to have your charges dismissed or reduced, click a link below to see our video library of legal defenses and strategies.

Experience You Can Trust

With unmatched knowledge and experience in the practice of law, the seasoned attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm are committed to serving their clients and tenaciously confronting the allegations against them.

We will examine every facet of your case in order to defend your constitutional rights and reputation.  

With a dedicated legal advocate to assist you, our attorneys will ensure that you are never forced to navigate the complex legal process on your own.

The Tormey Law Firm

Morristown Location

55 Madison Avenue, Suite 400

Morristown, NJ 07960

Areas We Serve

All of Morris County including Boonton, Boonton Township, Butler, Chatham Borough, Chatham Township, Chester Borough, Chester Township, Denville Township, Dover, East Hanover Township, Florham Park, Hanover Township, Harding Township, Jefferson Township, Kinnelon, Lincoln Park, Long Hill Township, Madison, Mendham Borough, Mendham Township, Mine Hill Township, Mont Arlington, Montville, Morris Plains, Morris Township, Morristown, Mount Olive Township, Mountain Lakes, Netcong, Parsippany-Troy Hills Township, Pequannock Township, Randolph, Riverdale, Rockaway Borough, Rockaway Township, Roxbury Township, Victory Gardens, Washington Township, and Wharton.

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