Morris County Auto Theft Lawyers
Criminal Defense Attorneys Located in Morristown, New Jersey
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 defense lawyer can help you potentially beat your auto theft or joyriding charges and avoid jail time. Our 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 Morris County and New Jersey, including in Madison, Dover, Denville, Parsippany, Rockaway, 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 our 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 Morris County or elsewhere in New Jersey, contact us 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 Auto Theft Attorney to Discuss Your Case
The aggressive criminal attorneys at our 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. Our experienced criminal defense lawyers 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 such as motor vehicle theft in Morris County or elsewhere in New Jersey, contact us in Morristown anytime for immediate assistance at 866-949-6948 for a free consultation.