GRAND THEFT AUTO
Grand theft auto is a type of theft that involves a vehicle as the stolen item. It can be filed as a misdemeanor or felony, also referred to as a "wobbler."
Penal Code 487(d)(1)
According to California laws, grand theft auto is the taking of an automobile belonging to another with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the vehicle. It must be proven that the car was owned by someone else, the car was taken without the owner's consent, the defendant intended to keep it permanently or keep it for such a period of time that the owner would be deprived of its value or use, and the defendant moved the car, even a short distance, and kept it for a period of time, however brief.
The punishment for a conviction of Grand Theft Auto in Los Angeles County is defined by statue as either no more than one year in county jail or for a state prison term. This may be for a term of either sixteen-month, two or three years. If however the person has been previously convicted of the same crime, that person will be facing increased sentencing terms of two, three or four years. There are other sentencing enhancements that may apply.
A good grand theft auto defense attorney can get the sentence reduced or get the charges dismissed.
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Vehicle Code 10851
According to California laws, Vehicle Code 10851 is defined as driving or taking a vehicle without the consent of the owner thereof, and with intent either to permanently or temporarily deprive the owner of his or her title to or possession of the vehicle. This may also be commonly referred to as "joyriding." A vehicle includes a passenger vehicle, motorcycle, motor scooter, bus, school bus, commercial vehicle, truck tractor, trailer and semi-trailer.
Joyriding is a “wobbler,” meaning it can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony. If you are convicted of joyriding as a misdemeanor, you may face up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both. If you are convicted of felony joyriding, you may face up to 3 years in jail, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
To be convicted of joyriding, the prosecutor must prove that you drove or took the vehicle, that the vehicle is not owned by you, and that you did not have permission to operate it.