It’s not uncommon to borrow another person’s car. We’ve all been there. Whether you don’t own a car at all, or your vehicle is at the mechanic’s getting a tune up, or you’re asked to transport a family member’s car for one reason or another, we have all driven a car that didn’t legally belong to us. Is there any reason for this and could you be arrested for driving a stolen car if you do?
Theft is a term used broadly to refer to crimes encompassing the taking of a person’s property without their permission to do so. However, the legal meaning of the word may involve more than one category, and varying degrees, of crimes. Theft is usually described as the unauthorized taking of property from another with the intention keeping it from that person permanently. There are two key aspects of this definition:
- Taking of another person’s possession
- Intent to permanently deprive the victim of said possession
Degrees of Theft
Although it may seem simple enough, the law actually recognizes many degrees of theft. For instance, a third degree theft could be a misdemeanor, which involves property of little market value. In another instance, a first degree theft might be defined as a felony with stolen property evaluated higher than a limit set by regulations. Also, certain states classify theft as “petty” or “grand”. Some degrees of theft are:
Can you be charged with theft if you had permission to drive the car?
It’s likely this could all be cleared up with a statement from your brother, who loaned you the car, or by presenting documentation you have: a text message, voice mail, hand-written note or verbal statement. An experienced attorney who clearly understands California laws regarding theft can be exactly the person you want on your side to get you out of hot water!
If you have been accused or, investigated for, or charged with automobile theft, petty theft, grand theft, burglary or other theft charge, connect with an attorney to make sure that your legal rights are being aggressively defended. We have extensive experience in having charges dropped, sentences reduced and jail avoided. Contact Kia Law today